Crowd on Op Pitting military aid the evacuation of former British staff eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation Assistance Policy 20210822 CREDIT MOD.jpg
Afghanistan

Medals For Afghanistan Evacuation In Doubt As UK Considers Length Of Mission

British soldiers helped people leave Kabul for two weeks, falling short of a 30-day service criteria for medallic recognition.

Crowd on Op Pitting military aid the evacuation of former British staff eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation Assistance Policy 20210822 CREDIT MOD.jpg

The Government is considering whether troops deployed on the Afghanistan evacuation mission qualify for medals relating to the operation.

Operation Pitting saw hundreds of paratroopers travel to the country in the wake of the Taliban takeover, helping individuals flee the troubled country.

British troops have received praise from political and military corners, facing up to the emotional test of leaving some individuals behind and the proven danger of attack from outside Kabul airport.

The mission consisted of two weeks, with Boris Johnson praising "around-the-clock" efforts from troops, but deployments must normally last 30 days to qualify for service medal recognition.

An MOD spokesperson said: "Medallic recognition for the evacuation in Afghanistan will be considered in due course. The current qualifying length of service is 30 days and any decision to change that will take lengthy consideration.

"Medals or awards for individual acts of bravery or leadership are separate to the length of deployment criteria and are therefore considered based on a citation by citation basis."

Experts anticipate some personnel from 2 PARA will require psychological therapy following Operation Pitting, which saw an explosion near Kabul airport a few days before the final withdrawal.

See how people voted in our online poll: Should Op Pitting personnel receive medals?

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.

Cover image: A soldier on Operation Pitting in Afghanistan (Picture: MOD).