Participants in Operation Enduring Freedom
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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, several nations took on Al-Qaeda and the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, which was the initial combat operations starting on 7 October 2001, in the wake of the 11 September attacks on the United States, and during 2002 and 2003.
This list covers US and coalition forces and other forms of support for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from October 2001. Some nations operations in Afghanistan continued as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). For example, United States troops are deployed both in the OEF and ISAF.
See the article Afghanistan War order of battle for the current disposition of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
For coalition forces involved in NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat operations in southern Afghanistan in 2006, see the article Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2006. For coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2007, see the article Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2007. For coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2008, see the article Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2008. And the article International Security Assistance Force for coalition forces in Afghanistan as part of ISAF.
Australian troops number 1550 in Afghanistan, and have shown themselves to be one of the most important allies of the Afghanistan War. They were one of only three countries to openly support operations in Afghanistan at the wars beginning, along with USA and the UK. They deployed their troops to Uruzgan province, and also Australia has many Special Forces personnel operating in Afghanistan.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces has deployed over 184 soldiers to Afghanistan.
Naval vessels during 2002.
Bangladesh offered the use of its airspace, ports and aircraft refueling stations.
Bulgaria has deployed 608 troops in Afghanistan, as well as medical personnel.
In 2002, a tri-national detachment known as the European Participating Air Forces of 18 Danish, Netherlands and Norwegian F-16 ground attack fighters aircraft deployed to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan. Belgium contributed a C-130 Hercules and 4 F-16 aircraft. Currently Belgium has around 550 troops stationed in Afghanistan, mainly in Kabul, Kunduz and Kandahar airport.
Bosnia and Herzegovina deployed a unit of 37 men to destroy munitions and clear mines, in addition to 6 command personnel as part of the Multinational force in Iraq. The unit was first deployed to Fallujah, then Talil Air Base, and is now located at Camp Echo. In December 2006, the Bosnian government formerly extended its mandate through June 2007. Bosnia and Herzegovina is planning to send another 49 soldiers from the 6th infantry division to Iraq in August 2008, their mission will be to protect/guard Camp Victory in Baghdad.
In 2002, Canada had 2,025 personnel in the CENTCOM region (1,100 land, 225 air (6 aircraft) and 700 naval personnel (3 ships)). Ground troops included elements of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment and Royal Canadian Regiment, and JTF2 special forces. Since initial deployments supporting OEF, Canadian forces have supported OEF and ISAF. Since the summer of 2006, the expanded Canadian force supported the NATO ISAF mission in south Afghanistan.
China has provided Mine-clearance and police training for Afghan Security Forces, but has resisted international pressure to deploy troops to the country. The Chinese government considers Afghanistan a quagmire, and fears that if troops were to be deployed, rising casualties would provoke massive antiwar sentiment in China, due to the One Child Policy.
The Republic of the Congo offered the United States and allies logistical support.
Cyprus offered the United States and allies use of its airspace and airports. Also, the United Kingdom used its RAF bases in their Sovereign Base Areas in Atrokiri and Dhekelia to stage attacks and aid the ground forces.
Provided training and material support for allied Afghan forces (donation of Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters to ANA). Sent 3 times a Special Forces Detachment (601st Special Forces Group). Other activities in ISAF – field hospital, KAIA airfield command, PRT Logar, force protection for German PRT and Dutch PRT.
Since 2002 the number of ground forces committed by the Danish army has been steadily increased from 50 to 750 soldiers and support staff. These forces include a tank platoon with 3 Leopard 2 model 2A5DK tanks. The majority of the Danish forces are deployed in the Helmand Province operating in the Gerishk District as part of the ISAF force under UK command. The Danish forces have suffered substantial casualties including 24 deaths up till September 2009. This is currently the highest level of casualties compared to the contribution size.
Additionally Danish Jægerkorpset special forces have been deployed at various times – including a substantial number in 2002.
In 2002, a tri-national detachment known as the European Participating Air Forces of 18 Danish, Netherlands and Norwegian F-16 ground attack/fighter aircraft deployed to Manas in Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan. Denmark contributed 6 F-16 aircraft.
Denmark's leader recently said his country's commitment depends on whether Afghanistan's 7 Nov. presidential runoff produces a credible leader(The run off was cancelled).
Egyptian Field Hospital at Bagram Egypt opened an Egyptian Field Hospital at Bagram in 2003. The hospital treats more than 7,000 Afghans per month. Treatment is provided free of charge. 31 percent of the hospitals patients are children.
link: Egyptian Field Hospital at Bagram Also, Egypt offered the use of its airspace.
Estonia offered the use of its airspace and provided logistical support in theatre. Estonia deployed about 150, and later and additional 250, to Afghanistan.
Over 4,000 personnel including the Marine Nationale (one CVBG, comprising the Charles de Gaulle, frigates La Motte-Picquet, Jean de Vienne and Jean Bart, the nuclear attack submarine Rubis, the tanker Meuse and the aviso Commandant Ducuing) 3,200 ground troops and 350 from the Armée de l'Air (12 Mirage 2000, Mirage F1 and Mirage IV ground-attack and reconnaissance aircraft). The first deployed French force was composed of soldiers from the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment deployed on 17 November 2001, to Mazar-e Sharif. As of 17 September 2011, 75 French soldiers have died.
In 2001 and beginning again in the summer of 2003, 200 soldiers from various units of the Army Special Forces Brigade (BFST), along with marine and air commandos, have conducted operations against the Taliban, under command and in co-operation with U.S. special operations forces present in the area. French forces have since supported the ISAF mission.
In August 2008, France took over control of the Kabul regional command. Ten French troops were killed and a further 21 wounded in an attack – the heaviest loss of troops France has suffered since deploying to Afghanistan in 2002 – it was announced on 19 August.
Georgia deployed 174 troops to Afghanistan, and deployed 1,900 peacekeepers in 2010 for peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations.
In 2002, Germany had 2,560 personnel in the region. German Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) special forces were involved in combat operations. The German Navy has had three Frigates, one Fast Patrol Boat Group (five units) and four supply ships operating out of Djibouti, in the Gulf of Aden. A German Airbus A310 aircraft was on alert in Germany for use as a medevac platform. German forces have since supported the ISAF mission.
Naval vessels during 2002. Greek forces have since supported the ISAF mission.
Hungary deployed 360 troops to Afghanistan, provided training for allied forces, and opened its airbases for Allied use.
India had offered all operational assistance to the United States, including use of its facilities, in any operations launched in pursuit of the perpetrators of the 11 September attack. Importantly Indian intelligence officials provided the United States with needed information concerning the financing and training of Islamic extremist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Indian government had also offered the United States the use of its territory for staging any military operations in Afghanistan.
On naval front India provided a frigate for escorting coalition shipping through the Straits of Malacca, made shipyards available for coalition ship repairs and opened ports for naval port calls. India offered the US its air bases, it provided the northern alliance with logistical support. The Indian Army opened a hospital in Tajikistan, in order to treat injured northern alliance soldiers. India also supposedly loaned Mi-17 helicopters to the Northern Alliance.
Iran, having a viewed the Taliban as a bitter enemy, aided coalition forces in an uprising in Herat.
Ireland has permitted U.S. Military aircraft to use Shannon International Airport as a refuelling hub. Also, Ireland has seven troops deployed to the Isaf's headquarters in Kabul.
Italy has 2,850 men in Afghanistan . Italian naval warships including its only Carrier Battle Group (with the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi) supported combat operations in the North Arabian Sea. Italy deployed a 43-man engineer team to Bagram, Afghanistan to repair the runway in May 2002.
The Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group or also known as the Japan Self-Defense Forces Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group (自衛隊イラク派遣 じえいたいイラクはけん?, Jietaiirakuhaken) refers to a battalion-sized, largely humanitarian contingent of the Japan Self-Defense Forces that was sent to Samawah, Southern Iraq in early January 2004 and withdrawn by late July 2006.
Kuwait provided basing and overflight permissions for all U.S. and coalition forces.
Kyrgyzstan allowed US and allied aircraft to use Manas Air Base.
Provided logistical support.
40 Special Forces AITVARAS troops, from 2002 to 2004.
Macedonia has 244 troops in Afghanistan.
Malaysia provided use of its airspace and logistical support.
Montenegro will deploy 40 soldiers, a three member medical team, and two officers under German command to Afghanistan in 2010.
The Netherlands helps in 2006 for a build, fight and air support mission in Afghanistan with 2100 soldiers. In 2010 all Dutch troops going home and a few months later they are begin a police traine mission with the Marechaussee and the Task Force. The Dutch Troops are member from The ISAF.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced in April 2008 that there would be additional New Zealand troops sent to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Banyan Province, because of concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. A member of the NZSAS in Afghanistan, Corporal Bill Apiata, was awarded the Victoria Cross for New Zealand in 2007 for bravery under fire in 2004. Three other SAS soldiers also received bravery awards for actions during the same mission; two received the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration and one the New Zealand Gallantry Medal. There are also two C-130 Hercules and one Boeing 757 transport aircraft and an unstated number (about 120) of New Zealand Special Air Service special forces soldiers and 2 ANZAC class frigates in the Persian Gulf.
In November 2007, a nephew of New Zealand's Minister of Defence Phil Goff died in Afghanistan; he was United States Army Captain Matthew Ferrara, who held both American and New Zealand citizenship. In July 2008, the sixth Australian soldier died in Afghanistan, New Zealand-born SAS Signaller Sean McCarthy.
The decision was made in August 2009 that NZSAS troops would be sent back to Afghanistan.
Exit strategy: The Government of New Zealand is working on an exit plan to pull all New Zealand troops out of Afghanistan.
In 2002, a tri-national detachment known as the European Participating Air Forces of 18 Danish, Dutch and Norwegian F-16 ground attack fighters aircraft was deployed to Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan. Norway contributed four to six F-16s. Also deployed from Norway were logistic teams, mine clearance teams, special forces groups (from HJK and MJK) and several C-130 transport aircraft. Norway also has an army training base located in Afghanistan. Currently, they have lost one soldier in an RPG attack and one special forces lieutenant in a shoot-out with hostile gunmen. Norway have also lost six soldiers in bomb attacks, four of them in the same attack. They were KJKs. Norway redeployed F-16 ground attack aircraft in 2006 as part of a joint Dutch-Norwegian unit supporting expanded NATO operations in Afghanistan. Currently Norway have a little more than 500 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, mainly in the North and in Kabul.
Oman offered the United States and allies use of its airspace and air bases.
Pakistan has been helping in the war against the Taliban. Pakistan and Iran agreed to open borders to receive the expected increased migration of refugees from Afghanistan. Earlier, Pakistan had supported the Taliban, especially during the 1996–1998 period when they were establishing control – later relations between the two were not as close. After the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan allocated three airbases to the United States for the invasion of Afghanistan. USA depends on Pakistan for a route to Afghanistan to supply the ISAF forces more than any source.
Poland has approximately 2,500 troops mainly from Wojska Lądowe and 10 helicopters stationed primarily in Ghazni province. There is also Wojska Specjalne compound: JW Grom (ISAF SOF TF-49), JW Komandosów (ISAF SOF TF-50) (Ghazni prov. Paktika prov.), JW Nil & HHD. Poland has also provided combat engineers and logistical support.
Portugal deployed 145 soldiers to Afghanistan, and provided a detachment of C-130 Hercules cargo planes. As a NATO member, Portugal supported the invocation of Article V.
Qatar offered the United States and allies use of the Al Udeid Airbase.
1,843 Force consists of a battalion in Qalat, Zabul Province. Additionally, a special forces squad (39 personnel) operates from Tagab in Kapisa Province, and a training detachment of 47 personnel is in Kabul.
Russia provided a field hospital as well as a hospital in Kabul for allies and Afghan civilians.
Russia has also agreed to provide logistic support for the United States forces in Afghanistan to aid in anti-terrorist operations.
Russia is allowing U.S. and NATO forces to pass through its territory to go to Afghanistan.
Russian Special Forces has also assisted U.S. and Afghan forces in operations in Afghanistan, by helping with intel and studying the lay of the land.
Slovakia provided sappers and specialists on maintenance and reconstruction of airports and technical equipment for such operations.
Slovenia deployed from 60–90 troops in Afghanistan and several IFVs and Armoured transport vehicles, and it is considering possibility of deploying three attack helicopters.
South Korea provided logistical support and a field hospital.
As a NATO member, Spain supported the invocation of Article V of the NATO charter. Spain made available Spanish military bases for military operations. Spanish forces have since supported the ISAF mission with about 2,500 combat troops in Afghanistan plus a helicopter detachment and 3 C-130 Hercules aircraft.
Sudan offered logistically heavy and lightweight support.
Sweden has been in Afghanistan since 2002 and has 900 soldiers there (February 2012). These troops are however NOT part of OEF, but are under the lead of ISAF. Sweden leads the PRT Mazari Sharif
In its first military deployment since 1815, Switzerland deployed 31 soldiers to Afghanistan in 2003, and two Swiss officers had worked with German troops. Swiss forces were withdrawn in February 2008.
Tajikistan provided use of its airspace, airbases and facilities for humanitarian aid.
Thailand offered America and its allies a fueling station for aircraft and provided logistical support.
Turkey offered the United States use of its airspace and air refuelling for US aircraft deploying to the region. Turkey would later deploy troops to Afghanistan as part of ISAF.
Turkey also provided logistical support.
Turkmenistan offered the use of its airspace.
United Arab Emirates provided 3 security personnel. Special Forces are also in Afghanistan (Wikileaks) and Al Minhad Air Base is a support hub for Australia, New Zealand, and previously Canadian air forces.
Ukraine allowed use of its airspace and airbases to America and its allies, but only for cargo flights.
The United Kingdom deployed sea, air and land assets for the initial offensive against the Taliban/al-Qaeda in 2001-2. The naval element consisted of one Invincible class aircraft carrier, one amphibious ship, one destroyer, one frigate, three nuclear fleet submarines and seven Royal Fleet Auxiliaries. The submarines HMS Trafalgar and HMS Triumph launched Tomahawk missiles on targets inside Afghanistan. SBS and Special Air Service special forces also deployed. Later 45 Commando Royal Marines deployed as part of Operation Jacana. The Royal Air Force contributed Tristar and VC-10 tanker aircraft, E-3D Sentry surveillance and control aircraft, Nimrod R1 surveillance aircraft, Nimrod MR2 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, Canberra PR9 reconnaissance aircraft, C-130 Hercules air transport aircraft and Chinook helicopters from 27 Squadron. 94 members of the British Armed Forces have died during OEF (see British forces casualties in Afghanistan).
Since initial deployments supporting OEF, British forces have mainly supported the ISAF mission, whilst British special forces have supported OEF and ISAF. In January 2006, Defence Secretary John Reid announced the UK would send a PRT with several thousand personnel to Helmand for at least three years. This had been planned as part of the gradual expansion of ISAF's area of responsibility from the Kabul region to the rest of Afghanistan. An initial strength of 5,700 personnel in Afghanistan was planned, which would stabilise to around 4,500 for the rest of the deployment.
In 2002, there were approximately 7,000 troops in Afghanistan, including United States Army Rangers, troops from the 10th Mountain Division, 187th Infantry Regt. "Rakkasans" 101st Airborne (Air Assault) and US Marines. Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit were among the first conventional forces into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 25 November 2001. The 1-87th IN 10th ID deployed elements assisting special forces elements on 25 or 26 Nov at Mazaar Sharif and securing Bagram airfield from British special forces.
The United States Navy aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (CVN 65) with an 8 ship and submarine task group, followed by the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) with 9 other ships and submarines deployed for operations over Afghanistan at different stages to the end of 2002. The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with a 11 ship and submarine task group also deployed. Additionally The USS George Washington (CVN 73) Was Deployed from 20 June 2002 until 20 December 2002 in support of Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Roughly 150 aircraft were initially deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom, including some two dozen B-52 bombers and support aircraft.
In 2007, 23,000 American troops were in Afghanistan, in the OEF-A. Another US troops are in ISAF.
Uzbekistan had allowed the U.S. to place troops on the ground as well as use the Uzbek airbase, K2, for support activities and for deployment and command and control of Special Forces into all of Afghanistan except for the Khandahar region. K2 is no longer in use by the U.S.
See also 
- Civilian casualties of the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)
- Protests against the invasion of Afghanistan
- Canadian Afghan detainee abuse scandal
- Coalition casualties in Afghanistan
- British forces casualties in Afghanistan
- Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
- German Armed Forces casualties in Afghanistan
- War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
- Criticism of the War on Terrorism
- Will the war in Afghanistan bring down NATO?
- Forces prepare for Afghan withdrawal
- Newsweek: 21 November 2009 Issue
- Estonia Extends Afghan Mission Through 2008
- French lost on icasulaties.org
- – Afghan ambush kills French troops – 19 August 2008
- Wall Street Journal
- Washington Times
- Reid, Neil (15 November 2009). "Afghan exit plan for NZ troops". Sunday News. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Aftenposten Newspaper: Taliban threaten more attacks in Afghanistan (English)
- Aftenposten Newspaper: "Fallen soldier comes home" (English)
- 13 February 2006: Dutch-Norwegian cooperation in Kabul – Netherlands MoD
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 26 January 2006"