Slovak troops are probably set to take part in the first wave of withdrawals from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, with the guards platoon from Tarin Kowt base (53 soldiers) and the sapper unit from Kandahar (51 soldiers) expected to return home by the end of 2012, according to a proposal drawn up by the Defence Ministry that has been submitted to other ministries for comment, the TASR newswire reported.
"The importance [of the deployment of the sapper unit] has been reduced lately due to the increased use of contractor companies by the base commander," said the Defence Ministry as quoted by TASR.
Slovakia wants to boost its role in the training of the Afghan security forces. It will send an additional eight soldiers to ISAF headquarters, increasing the total number of Slovaks there to 20. In addition, a 12-member unit is set to support the deployed Slovak special forces.
An 11-member operations and training team will be set up and four military police officers will help to train the Afghan police. Overall, the number of Slovak servicemen in Afghanistan should be reduced from the current 348 to 279 by the end of 2012.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.