To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much (a) manpower and (b) financial support has been allocated to date to the officer training academy in Afghanistan; what plans he has to continue such support and for what duration; and what assessment his Department has made of the value added to the effectiveness of the Afghan armed forces by the work of the UK-supported military academy.
162 UK Armed Forces personnel are currently based in Afghanistan supporting the Afghan National Army Officer Academy; 65 of these are providing mentoring and 97 personnel provide support for the mentoring team. The cost of currently planned UK support to the Academy is expected to be approximately £70-80 million based on provision of support from 2012 to 2016. This is in addition to funding and support provided by other countries. UK support is being reviewed on an ongoing basis as part of the NATO RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission and with our Afghan partners.
The first two Kandaks (battalions) of young Afghan officers have now graduated. It is too early to give a comprehensive assessment of the officers' effectiveness, as members of the first Kandak have only recently been posted to their units following further specialist training.