The United States is sending hundreds of additional troops to the southern Afghan province of Helmand, where the Taliban is threatening to overrun several districts.
U.S. Army spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn said in a statement on February 9 that the new force will provide security and act as advisers to the Afghan Army's 215th Corps.
"This was a planned deployment of additional personnel to both bolster force protection for the current staff of advisers and to provide additional advisers to help with ongoing efforts to re-man, re-equip, and re-train the 215th Corps," he said.
Afghan security forces have struggled to fend off the Taliban in Helmand, a strategic opium-producing area.
The NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan declared its combat mission over at the end of 2014, and Lawhorn said the new troops in Helmand would be there "to train, advise, and assist our Afghan counterparts, and not to participate in combat operations."