ROYAL ENGINEERS have this week flown to Afghanistan to provide vital infrastructure for the wartorn country.
They will help the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which is working with the new Afghan Interim Authority to provide security and stability in the capital, Kabul. It comprises 5,000 troops from 16 nations.
Maidstone-based 36 Engineer Regiment will make up most of the 500 strong force which will lead an international engineering team of up to 800 troops from Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain.
With temperatures in Kabul at present falling as low as -15infinityC at night, the main role of the Royal Engineers will be to provide power, water and sanitation for the ISAF.
Once basic infrastructure is in place, the Royal Engineers will tackle reconstruction of Kabul International Airport, which was heavily targeted by the US led military action against the Taliban.
At the moment, there are no plans for the Royal Engineers to become involved in a long term rebuilding effort as after the Kosovo conflict (NCE 19 October 2000).
They are due back in Britain by the end of April.