British troops reach Helmand withdrawal milestone

British forces have now pulled out of all but two of their bases in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

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Ed Sheeran performs for Afghanistan troops

Ed Sheeran performs for British troops in Afghanistan Credit: MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Pop star Ed Sheeran has performed at two special concerts for British troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Sheeran, who has scored several top ten hits, also boarded Apache and Chinook helicopters on the trip, which was organised by the British Forces Foundation charity.

Ed Sheeran was on a charity trip to Afghanistan. Credit: MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Read: British troops reach Helmand withdrawal milestone

Army Corporal: Afghanistan is 'much more secure'

The latest milestone in Britain's drawdown came as a final convoy of vehicles returned equipment from the camp at Price, to Camp Bastion.

The convoy, or Combat Logistic Patrol (CLP), returned to Bastion yesterday in the last of some 30 convoys that have been bringing kit back from bases across Helmand for the past six months.

At a base in Lashkar Gah, Corporal David Thorpe told ITV News his second tour in Afghanistan has been "much more secure". He said he wants to make sure that British troops leave the region with their "heads held high", and spoke about how he is looking forward to "getting back to my wife and kids".

Lashka Gah, was once the headquarters of Task Force Helmand. The final move comes as the Ministry of Defence announced the closure of three important bases in Helmand province over the last month.

Read: The costly Afghanistan conflict comes to a relatively peaceful end

Read: British troops reach Helmand withdrawal milestone

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Former British military HQ 'LashVegas' closed

Lashkar Gah, the former headquarters of British forces in Helmand, was one of the bases to close in the latest part of the UK's drawdown.

 Brigadier James Woodham and the Provincial Governor of Lashkar Gah holding at the handover of Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah.
Brigadier James Woodham and the Provincial Governor of Lashkar Gah holding at the handover of Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah.

It was signed over to provincial governor Mohammad Naim Baloch at a ceremony last month by Brigadier James Woodham, the British commander in Helmand, and Foreign Office head of mission Belinda Lewis.

The base, dubbed LashVegas by troops because of its comparatively good facilities, will be used by the Afghans, including as a health centre for the city's civilian population, Mr Baloch said at the ceremony.

UK reaches major milestone in Afghanistan withdrawal

British troops have left all but one forward operating base in Helmand province, as the UK reaches a major milestone in the drawdown from Afghanistan.

Just one base, Sterga 2, remains in Helmand outside Camp Bastion, effectively becoming Britain's front line in the area, as the UK works towards withdrawing all combat troops by the end of this year.

Some walls have been moved.
Some walls have been moved.

In an operation lasting more than a month, three important bases have been closed or handed over to Afghan control.

Main Operating Base (MOB) Lashkar Gah - the former headquarters of UK military forces in Afghanistan - and Patrol Base (PB) Lashkar Gah Durai have been handed over to Afghan control.