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Slovakia plans to deploy more soldiers in Afghanistan

There will soon be 246 soldiers from Slovakia serving in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, the SITA newswire wrote. The members of the Slovak Armed Forces will work in a team of military engineers, in reconstruction teams in the country’s provinces, in operational and training teams, at the headquarters of the ISAF operation, in a national support unit, in guard units and in a team of healthcare workers, according to a document submitted for interdepartmental review by Defence Minister Jaroslav Baška on May 27. The document is subject to cabinet approval. At present, Slovakia has mandated up to 115 troops to serve in Afghanistan, but currently has only 69 soldiers there.

There will soon be 246 soldiers from Slovakia serving in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, the SITA newswire wrote. The members of the Slovak Armed Forces will work in a team of military engineers, in reconstruction teams in the country’s provinces, in operational and training teams, at the headquarters of the ISAF operation, in a national support unit, in guard units and in a team of healthcare workers, according to a document submitted for interdepartmental review by Defence Minister Jaroslav Baška on May 27. The document is subject to cabinet approval. At present, Slovakia has mandated up to 115 troops to serve in Afghanistan, but currently has only 69 soldiers there.

In the second half of the year, Slovakia will deploy fifty soldiers, who will be responsible for protection of Camp Holland, which is situated in Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province. They will serve under Dutch command. A further 50 will be deployed as a guard unit for the air base in Kandahar. In the second half of 2009, Slovakia should send fifty more servicemen, whose task will be to protect Camp Hadrian in Deh Rawood, also in Uruzgan province and also under Dutch command.

Up to six soldiers will be involved in reconstruction work in the provinces, while up to fifteen soldiers are expected to work as part of operational and training teams in Uruzgan in cooperation with the Dutch armed forces. Six Slovaks will serve at ISAF operations headquarters. Aside from these deployments, a national support unit with up to twelve soldiers should also be established. The Defence Ministry proposes to withdraw the healthcare team from KAIA air base by the end of the year. Since May 19 of last year, Slovak military engineers have been serving at an air base in Kandahar. Their task is mine-clearance and construction and reconstruction works exclusively at the air base. Slovak troops have been in Afghanistan since 2002, when they joined the international operation "Enduring Freedom". Two years later they also joined the NATO-commanded ISAF mission. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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