Belgium is ending its longest mission in Afghanistan, the protection of Kabul International Airport (KAIA), over the next few months. Starting in October, the mission will be taken over by a multinational unit under French command and including Portuguese, Hungarian and Albanian troops.
Belgium has been conducting the mission with around 250 troops since the beginning of 2003. Belgium will continue to participate in other NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) missions in Afghanistan. In Kabul, it will continue to have personnel assigned to ISAF headquarters and in various Afghan National Army (ANA) schools. In Kandahar, where Belgium has a detachment of F-16s, four Belgian instructors are mentoring the Afghan National Air Force, and Belgian surgeons are working in the base's military hospital. In Kunduz, Belgian personnel are supporting the provincial reconstruction team and are members of military advisory teams advising, training and supporting the ANA. Finally, Belgian instructors are teaching at the ANA engineering school in Mazar-e-Sharif.