When Taliban fighters infiltrated Camp Bastion between Towers 16 and 15 in September 2012, Tower 16 was not manned - and was not supposed to be manned by Tongans, Captain Toni Fonokalafi, the Acting Commander of the Tongan Armed Forces said, in answering criticism of Tongan soliders serving in Afghanistan that appeared in US news media, attributed to senior US military sources, last week.
Tonga’s 7th contingent to Afghanistan left Tonga for the United Kingdom today, September 6, to undergo pre-deployment training for two-months.
Tonga’s sixth contingent for Afghanistan left Tonga for the United Kingdom on Thursday, February 28.
In a special ceremony at Taliai Camp at Fua’amotu today, the United Kingdom Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan was awarded to Tonga’s fourth contingent of 55 soldiers who served in Afghanistan this year, as well as some soldiers from the first three Tongan contingents. Photos by Linny Folau.
Tonga’s fourth contingent of 55 soldiers to Afghanistan returned safely to Tonga on Friday 16 November, after six-months duty in Helmand Province, under a NATO led-mission. Medals of recognition will be presented to the contingent by Rt Hon. Andrew Robathan MP, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, at Taliai Camp, Fua’amotu, on Thursday 22 November.
Tongan soldiers serving with security forces at Camp Bastion military compound in Afghanistan are safe today, after there was a complex attack by heavily armed insurgents on an area of the camp on Friday night, in which two U.S. Marines were killed and several more wounded.
Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano farewelled Tonga’s fifth contingent to Afghanistan at Fua’amotu International Airport this afternoon, September 14.
Tonga’s fifth contingent to Afghanistan is expected to leave Tonga for the United Kingdom on Friday, September 14.
Tonga had decided to remain in Afghanistan for two more years until December 2014 under a NATO-led mission, but a review would be held after the first year in December 2013, the Acting Commander of the Tonga Defence Services Captain Toni Fonokalafi said today.
Tonga had yet to decide whether to remain in Afghanistan until December 2014 or not, Brigadier Tau’aika ‘Uta’atu, Commander of the Tonga Defence Services said on June 6.