All British and United States Marine Corps (USMC) troops have now left the Camp Bastion – Leatherneck operating base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and handed over to the 215 Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA).
A joint force of helicopters and aircraft made the final transfer of personnel to Kandahar on Monday, October 27 after the formal end of combat operations from Bastion.
British defense secretary Michael Fallon stated that the UK’s policy was now to “focus on the NATO Resolute Support Mission, developing the Afghan security ministries and training the future leaders of the ANA at the Officer Academy in Kabul.”
Photo courtesy UK Ministry of Defense
The senior British officer still in Helmand, Brigadier Rob Thomson said that it was the final British base to be handed over to the ANA and claimed that “the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have repeatedly demonstrated that they are more than ready to tackle the insurgency on their own, as they have been doing with limited ISAF support since June 2013.”
Camp Bastion-Leatherneck was built in early 2006 and was the center of British, coalition later USMC operations in Helmand Province. At its peak between 2011 and 2012, up to 28,000 military and contractors lived at the 10 square mile joint-base.