Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment were sent from Cyprus to take part in Afghanistan evacuation efforts

The MOD has confirmed that an infantry battalion from the Yorkshire Regiment has assisted in the civilian airlift from Kabul.

Sunday, 29th August 2021, 11:16 am
Updated Sunday, 29th August 2021, 11:18 am
A Yorkshire Regiment soldier meets an Afghan child

Soldiers from 2 Yorks were redeployed from their current base in Cyprus to Afghanistan as part of Operation Pitting, which, in the first 10 days evacuated a total of 11,474 British people, entitled Afghans and civilians from partner nations. 

Most of the British military presence was provided by 16 Air Assault Brigade, the global response rapid deployment force, but 2 Yorks assisted in moving, processing and supporting evacuees from handling centres onto RAF aircraft. Soldiers have nicknamed the vehicles they used to transport the civilians 'White Rose taxis'.

The battalion's commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel James Ashworth said:  “The last few days have seen 2 Yorks do brilliant things to get our soldiers ready and deployed out to Afghanistan. Those in Kabul are working tirelessly, in the most desperate and testing of conditions, to get people out.”    

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Civilians are assisted on board an RAF aircraft

The battalion arrived in Cyprus in late 2020 as the resident infantry unit, but were also at high readiness to respond to a crisis in the Middle East.

Lt Col Ashworth continued: “It is a busy time for the battalion and a remarkable achievement that we are currently delivering on several operational commitments in different countries at the same time.  We are maintaining our continued readiness for operations in the region in Cyprus; helping the evacuation in Kabul; and supporting Op Kipion in Bahrain, the Royal Navy-led mission to protect shipping lanes in the Gulf.”  

The civilian airlift is now complete and Yorkshire Regiment soldiers will be along the last to leave Afghanistan aboard flights for military and diplomatic personnel.

Civilians are helped to board the 'White Rose taxis'