13 November 2008
Ministry of Defence
Sweden strengthens its presence in Afghanistan
The Government wants to strengthen Swedish military presence through transport aircraft, ambulance helicopters and more training and coordination groups known as OMLT teams. The Swedish armed force in ISAF is expected to number about 500 people in 2009, compared with the current maximum of 390.
In the Government Bill on continued Swedish participation in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), the Government proposes that the Riksdag gives its approval to Sweden's making available an armed force of a maximum of 855 persons for participation in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) until 31 December 2009. The requested personnel capacity of 855 persons includes resources for reinforcement and unforeseen evacuation needs. The requested mandate would allow Sweden to adapt its presence over time. A greater strengthening of the contribution will follow consultation with the Riksdag.
"There is continuing great need for international military presence in Afghanistan. The link between security and development is clear. The absence of security undermines the popularly elected government's ability to influence the country's development and is one of the most serious obstacles to effective reconstruction and sustainable social and economic development," says Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors.
"It is crucial that the international community, including Sweden, continues now to support and assist the Afghan Government in its efforts to create a stable and secure society. Sweden's commitment within the ISAF framework is long term," says Sten Tolgfors.
The major part of the Swedish contribution will be linked, just as before, to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, which Sweden commands. Sweden's military contribution includes commander, personnel and military units. The latter mainly comprises provincial offices and mobile military observer teams as well as medical care, guard, escort and logistics units.
The Swedish contribution will also include a transport aircraft unit. Sweden also intends to increase its contribution to the special training and coordination groups - which through military consultation contribute to building and supporting the Afghan army - and plans to contribute a medical helicopter unit, Medevac.
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