Helmand governor on Sunday said a delegation of the United States (US) Navy visited the province on Saturday to assess the situation ahead of a US Marine deployment. 

Helmand governor Hayatullah Hayat said the US officials, led by United States Secretary of the Navy, Richard Vaughn Spencer, promised that US Marines will soon return to the province.

“The US Navy secretary and a commander of the Marines corps came to Helmand. They insisted on fighting terrorism, training, advising and supporting Afghan security forces,” Hayat said.

According to Hayat, the secretary of the US Navy led the delegation and met him in the province and assured him of the US’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a number of Helmand residents have welcomed the deployment of US Marines to the province and said it would improve the security situation.

“Without the US forces, the Afghan forces cannot take down the insurgents. We need them to equip and reinforce our troops,” Majid Akhundzada, a member of Helmand provincial council said.

US Marines were previously based In Kandahar and Helmand between 2010 and 2014. At the time they numbered about 30,000.

In addition to carrying out operations against insurgents at the time, the Marines also trained Afghan security forces and backed them on the battlefields.

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