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Operation Veritas

Operation Veritas was the codename used for British military operations against the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001. British forces very much played a supporting role to American forces. Nonetheless, the British contribution was an important part of the overall forces deployed. Operation Veritas also incorporated Operation Oracle[?], Operation Fingal[?] and Operation Jacana[?].

A large number of British troops had been the Middle East anyway when the World Trade Center was destroyed. They were there for Operation Saif Sareea II[?], a very large military exercise conducted in Oman. Some of those forces remained in place to conduct war operations against the Taliban.

The first rotation of forces left in place after the war started included:

40 Commando[?], Royal Marines was assigned as infantry for the operation, but ultimately it did not deploy to Afghanistan. However, British ground forces did take part in the fighting. The secretive SAS were the men concerned.

In March 2002, the initial naval force were relieved by one centred around HMS Ocean, carrying 45 Commando[?] Royal Marines. Sir Tristram and Sir Percivale remained in the area. The other ships in that force were:

In addition to the naval taskforces present, a substantial RAF presence in the region was extant. Tristar and VC10 tankers refuelled British and American aircraft. Nimrod and Canberra aircraft performed electronic and photo reconnaisance, and Nimrods also conducted maritime patrol operations. Sentry AWACS aircraft were also deployed.

After the main combat operations were over, the International Security Assistance Force was established in Kabul. It was under British leadership for the first few months of its existence, and British troops are still involved with the force in 2003. 45 Commando deployed into Afghanistan from HMS Ocean in March 2002, and conducted several search and destroy operations until July. It did not contact the enemy during that time period.



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