Lt Col Edd Oldfield, CO First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles holds Afghan evacuee Op ALLIED SOLACE in Kosovo.10092021 CREDIT MOD .jpg
Afghanistan

Royal Gurkha Rifles Deployed To Help Resettle Afghan Former NATO Staff

Personnel are helping to vet and process evacuees before they are resettled across NATO countries, including the UK.

Lt Col Edd Oldfield, CO First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles holds Afghan evacuee Op ALLIED SOLACE in Kosovo.10092021 CREDIT MOD .jpg

Troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles have deployed on a 60-day operation to Kosovo, to help relocate and resettle Afghan former employees of NATO.

About 150 Afghan former NATO employees and their families will be relocated to the UK after being evacuated from Afghanistan.

The 140 troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles –  along with additional personnel from across the Armed Forces – will be providing force protection and assistance in processing about 2,000 former NATO contractors and their families.

As NATO's leading European ally, the UK's Operation Allied Solace is part of its commitment to supporting the relocation of vulnerable Afghans via third countries. 

UK forces are working with British Embassy staff to complete vetting and onward processing in Kosovo ahead of their onward transfer to the UK.

A soldier from The First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles providing security in BECHTEL village. NATO evacuation Op Solace-09092021 CREDIT MOD.jpg
A soldier from 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles providing security in Bechtel village (Picture: MOD).

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "This rapid deployment demonstrates the UK's ability and readiness to relocate vulnerable Afghans from around the world.

"Our commitment to those who worked alongside the UK and our NATO allies endures far beyond the end of Operation Pitting."

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

The mission lasted two weeks, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson praising "around-the-clock" efforts by the British military.

NATO coalition forces evacuated a total of 120,000 people from Kabul last month.

The Afghans are being housed in temporary accommodation in Kosovo while they undergo vetting, onward processing and resettlement across NATO countries, including the UK. 

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: Lt Col Edd Oldfield, Commanding Officer First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, holds evacuated Afghan child during Operation Allied Solace in Kosovo (Picture: MOD).