ISAF 2003

/ISAF 2003

The arrival, in December 2001, of ISAF forces in Kabul was the first significant step taken in the direction of the implementation of the Bonn Agreement. For the people of Kabul, having lived throug very difficult times, ISAF heralded a new beginning, a beginning of hope and security.

ISAF III served between 10 February 2003 and 11 August 2003 under the leadership of the High Readiness Force Headquarters of the 1(German- Netherlands) Corps. On the 10th of February 2003 the German General Norbert von Heyst took over the command of ISAF.

In the six months of deployment progress has been made in writing the new Afghan Constitution while the process of Demobalisation, Disarmament and Reintergration started and the cesus in preparation of the elections in June 2004 has begun.

But also a high price was paid for the obvious improvement in the security situation. A local interpreter and 5 German soldiers were killed in two terrorist attacks,whereas Dutch, German and Norwegian soldiers were wounded and 62 Spanish ISAF colleagues were killed in a plane crash in Turkey on the way home. Non of these soldiers were members of the 1(GE/NL) Corps.

On the 11th of August 2003 General von Heyst handed over the command to NATO.

President Karzai thanked the soldiers of ISAF III for their efforts to assist his Government in building up the necessary structures so that in the future Afghanistan can function without ISAF.