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Operation Veritas

Operation Veritas

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Operation Veritas was the codename used for British military operations against the Taliban government of Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in 2001. British forces played a supporting role to the American Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition, the British contribution was an important part of the overall forces deployed. Operation Veritas also incorporated Operation Oracle, Operation Fingal, and Operation Jacana
Operation Jacana
Operation Jacana is the codename for a series of operations carried out by coalition forces in Afghanistan. The operations were carried out most notably by 45 Commando Royal Marines. U.S. forces, Australian SAS and Norwegian FSK also participated. The operation was a followup operation of Operation...

. It was succeeded by Operation Herrick
Operation Herrick
Operation Herrick is the codename under which all British operations in the war in Afghanistan have been conducted since 2002. It consists of the British contribution to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and support to the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom...

 from 2002 onwards.

A large number of British forces were on exercise Saif Sareea II
Saif Sareea II
Exercise Saif Sareea II, also known as "Operation Swift Sword II", was a major military exercise in September and October 2001 involving the military of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was the largest single deployment of UK forces since the Gulf War...

 in Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 when the September 11th attacks occurred. This allowed for the swift deployment of some to Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 for operations against the Taliban.

First rotation

The first rotation of forces left in place after the war started included:
  • HMS Illustrious
    HMS Illustrious (R06)
    HMS Illustrious is the second of three Invincible-class light aircraft carriers built for the Royal Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She is the fifth warship and second aircraft carrier to bear the name Illustrious, and is affectionately known as "Lusty" to her crew...

  • HMS Fearless
    HMS Fearless (L10)
    HMS Fearless was a Royal Navy ship which served from 1965 until 2002. One of two from the Landing Platform Dock class she was based in HMNB Portsmouth and saw service around the world over her 37 year life...

  • HMS Cornwall
    HMS Cornwall (F99)
    The sixth HMS Cornwall was a Batch 3 Type 22 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She was the first Batch 3 to be built, and the last to decommission...

  • HMS Southampton
    HMS Southampton (D90)
    HMS Southampton was a batch two Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was named after the city of Southampton, England, and built by Vosper Thornycroft, in Southampton...

  • HMS Trafalgar
    HMS Trafalgar (S107)
    HMS Trafalgar is a decommissioned of the Royal Navy. Unlike the rest of the Trafalgar-class boats that followed, she was not launched with a pump jet propulsion system, but with a conventional 7-bladed propeller...

  • HMS Triumph
    HMS Triumph (S93)
    HMS Triumph is a nuclear submarine of the Royal Navy and was the seventh and final boat of her class.Triumph was laid down in 1987 by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited and launched in February 1991 by Mrs. Ann Hamilton, wife of the then Armed Forces Minister Archie Hamilton...

  • RFA Sir Tristram
    RFA Sir Tristram (L3505)
    RFA Sir Tristram is a Landing Ship Logistics of the Round Table class. She was launched in 1966, and accepted into British Army service in 1967. As with others of her class, she was transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1970...

  • RFA Sir Percivale
    RFA Sir Percivale (L3036)
    RFA Sir Percivale is a Round Table class landing ship logistics. She originally entered British Army service in 1968, managed for the Ministry of Transport by British India Steam Navigation Company, but was taken over by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary along with the other members of the class in 1970...

  • RFA Fort Victoria
    RFA Fort Victoria (A387)
    RFA Fort Victoria is a Fort Class combined fleet stores ship and tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary of the United Kingdom tasked with providing ammunition, fuel, food and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world....

  • RFA Fort Rosalie
    RFA Fort Rosalie (A385)
    RFA Fort Rosalie is a fleet stores ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Fort Rosalie was originally named RFA Fort Grange, but was renamed in May 2000 to avoid confusion with RFA Fort George, a change which was not universally popular.-History:Fort Rosalie was laid down in 1973, by Scott Lithgow on...

  • RFA Bayleaf
    RFA Bayleaf (A109)
    RFA Bayleaf was a Leaf-class support tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.-Construction:Bayleaf was one of four ships ordered from Cammell Laird at Birkenhead in 1973, and laid down in 1975 as the Hudson Sound. When the ordering company ran into financial difficulties, the ships were laid up, and...

  • RFA Brambleleaf
    RFA Brambleleaf (A91)
    RFA Brambleleaf was a Leaf-class small tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She should not be confused with RFA Brambleleaf of 1979, an active RFA tanker also of pennant number A81....

  • RFA Diligence
    RFA Diligence (A132)
    RFA Diligence is a fleet repair ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She was built by Oesundsvarvet AB Landskrona in Sweden and launched in 1981 as a civilian oil rig support ship,. Diligence first served the RFA during the Falklands War as a civilian owned ship taken up from the trade . As MV Stena...

40 Commando, Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 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.

Second rotation

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:
  • HMS Ocean
    HMS Ocean (L12)
    HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy is an amphibious assault ship , the sole member of her class. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force...

  • HMS York
    HMS York (D98)
    HMS York is a Batch III Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy. Launched on 20 June 1982 at Wallsend, Tyne and Wear and sponsored by Lady Gosling, HMS York was the last Type 42 built. The ship's crest is the White Rose of York, and the "red cross with lions passant" funnel badge is derived from the...

  • HMS Campbeltown
    HMS Campbeltown (F86)
    HMS Campbeltown was a Batch 3 Type 22 frigate of the British Royal Navy. Built by Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd. in Birkenhead, she was part of the third batch of Type 22s, which were considerably larger than their predecessors and incorporated more advanced weaponry after lessons learnt from the...

  • HMS Portland
    HMS Portland (F79)
    HMS Portland is a Type 23 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the eighth ship to bear the name and is the fifteenth and penultimate ship of the 'Duke' class of frigates.- Operational history :...

  • RFA Fort George
    RFA Fort George (A388)
    RFA Fort George was a combined fleet stores ship and tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.Fort George was ordered from Swan Hunter in late 1987. The ship was laid down in 1989, launched by the wife of the Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Sir Jock Slater in 1991 and commissioned in 1993...

  • RFA Fort Austin
    RFA Fort Austin (A386)
    RFA Fort Austin is a fleet stores ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.Fort Austin was laid down at Scott Lithgow in 1975, launched in 1978 and commissioned in 1979. These ships were designed to carry a wide range of stores to support other ships; ammunition, food, explosives...

In addition to the naval taskforces present, a substantial RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 presence in the region was extant. Tristar
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 and VC10
Vickers VC10
The Vickers VC10 is a long-range British airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, and first flown in 1962. The airliner was designed to operate on long-distance routes with a high subsonic speed and also be capable of hot and high operations from African airports...

 tankers refuelled British and US Navy aircraft. Nimrod and Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 aircraft performed electronic and photo reconnaissance, and Nimrods also conducted maritime patrol operations. Sentry AWACS
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 aircraft were also deployed.

Post operation

After the main combat operations were over, the International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 (ISAF) was established in Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. It was under British leadership for the first few months of its existence, and British troops are still involved with the force in 2006. 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.

On the 25 August 2004, it was announced by Secretary of State for Defence Geoff Hoon
Geoff Hoon
Geoffrey "Geoff" William Hoon is a British politician who served as the Member of Parliament for Ashfield from 1992 to 2010...

 that 6 RAF Harrier GR7
RAF Harrier II
The British Aerospace/McDonnell Douglas Harrier II is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing jet aircraft used previously by the Royal Air Force and, between 2006–2010, the Royal Navy. Derived from the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, which was a development of the Hawker...

 from No. 3 Squadron
No. 3 Squadron RAF
No 3 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Typhoon F2, FGR4 and T3 from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.No 3 Squadron, which celebrated its 95th anniversary over the weekend of 11-13 May 2007, is unique in the RAF for having two official crests....

 would be deployed to Afghanistan. This was the first deployment to Afghanistan of RAF fighter aircraft and they are intended to provide close air support (CAS) and reconnaissance for ISAF and Coalition forces.


The following have been UK National Contingent Commander for Operation Veritas:
  • September 2001 to January 2002, Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

     Jock Stirrup
    Jock Stirrup
    Air Chief Marshal Graham Eric "Jock" Stirrup, Baron Stirrup, GCB, AFC, FRAeS, FCMI, RAF, is a former senior Royal Air Force commander, who was the Chief of the Defence Staff from 2006 until his retirement in late 2010. He is also a Crossbench member of the House of Lords.As a junior RAF officer,...