Dec. 23 the last ten Latvian soldiers returned home from Afghanistan, who were on duty under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This event marks the end of the 11-year-long Latvian participation in the combat operation in this strife-ridden country.
Jan. 1 more than 20 Latvian soldiers began their duty in the new NATO-led training operation "Resolute Support", which will focus on the training the Afghan forces.
The Latvian soldiers will support the efforts of the Afghani National Army’s 209th Corps and Engineering School and will serve as advisers in the NATO’s Joint Regional Management and Coordination Centre.
The first Latvian contingent for this operation has already arrived in Afghanistan. The soldiers are primarily stationed in Camp Marmal in Mazar e Sharif in the Northern part of the country, while a small part of the soldiers is stationed in Kabul. Upon the commencement of the training operation, these soldiers will work as advisers as well as staff officers and instructors of various levels.
Last year 165 soldiers of the National Armed Forces were deployed in Afghanistan. Latvian soldiers have served in Afghanistan since 2003.
222 soldiers took part in several military operations and missions in 2014. Four of these soldiers were on duty in the EU counter-piracy operation "Atlanta", 14 soldiers were stationed in the EU training mission in Mali and 39 soldiers served in the EU military operation in the Central African Republic, in which the Latvian Armed Forces ceased to participate Nov. 20.
This year 69 soldiers will take part in international operations and missions in Afghanistan, Mali and in the Coast of Somalia.