In early 2002, forces from 16 Air Assault Brigade took a leading role in the International Assistance Security Force, which deployed to assist the new Afghan Interim Authority in the provision of security and stability for Kabul.
After 11 September, and much political and military indecision, 2 PARA and supporting elements from 16 Air Assault Brigade started to deploy to Afghanistan on 30 December on Op FINGAL, as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Unfortunately the deployment, via Oman, took over a month due to the limitations on the use of Bagram airfield, and the final chalk did not arrive in Kabul until 11 February 2002.
2 PARA Group assumed responsibility for the Southern half of the city. The legacy of 23 years of war had left Kabul in a desperate state, but the Battalion Group set about its peacekeeping duties in traditional style, making friends and deterring potential enemies, Taliban supporters and the like.
During the two months they were there, 2 PARA recruited and trained the first 600 strong battalion of the Afghan National Guard, which was to then train subsequent battalions and provide the Presidential Guard Force. They also took a Turkish Army company under command and organised the much publicised football match between ISAF and Kabul United in the stadium previously used by the Taliban for public executions.
By early April the Bn Gp had handed over to 1 Royal Anglian and returned to Colchester.