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On 1 July 2008 a new Spanish force made up of over 400 service personnel arrived in Afghanistan. The bulk of its troops come from the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Brigade “Almogávares”, based in Jabalí Nuevo (Murcia), but it also includes soldiers from the Army Helicopter Forces and the 21st Logistics Support Group in Seville.

ASPFOR XX, which is under the command of Colonel Pedro Rolán Araújo, assumed control of its area of responsibility on 13 July. It took over from the previous Task Force, made up of personnel from the Legion Brigade “Rey Alfonso”. The transfer of authority ceremony was presided over by Brigadier General Álvaro de la Peña Cuesta, commander of the Army Staff Operations Division, and by Brigadier General Francesco Arena, commander of the International Security and Assistance Force, Regional Command-West (ISAF RC-W).

Task Force ASPFOR XX is organised into two main blocks

Provincial Reconstruction Team

Based in Qala-i-Naw in Badghis province, it is composed of several units, all of them necessary to fulfil its mission: support and security, civil-military cooperation, air traffic support, logistics, medical support, signals… As well as those specific to disseminating government messages and activities throughout the province.

Forward Support Base

The Quick Reaction Unit, the Army Helicopter Unit and the National Support Element are all stationed in this base, located in Herat province. They are under the command of the Regional Area Coordinator-West (RAC-W).

The troops which make up ASPFOR XX will remain in Badghis for four months. The Provincial Reconstruction Team’s mission is to contribute to providing a secure and stable environment in the province in order to permit its reconstruction.

The Multinational Manoeuvre Battalion, characterised by its great tactical mobility, reports to the International Security Assistance Force and is charged with responding to attacks against any of the four Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the provinces of Chaghcharan (led by Lithuania), Herat (Italy), Farah (US) and Badghis (Spain).

The task of the National Support Element is the procurement, management and maintenance of all the logistic resources needed to carry out the Force’s mission.