PORTUGAL IS preparing to send 200 soldiers to join the NATO mission in Afghanistan, as part of the ongoing fight against the Taliban. An elite company of more than 130 soldiers will integrate into a multinational brigade at Kabul. Another 60 members of the Portuguese Air Force will take part in the operations at Kabul International Airport for a four-month period, from the end of July onwards. The Air Force has had 16 personnel posted in Afghanistan since last July. With only two months to go before the departure, army commanders admit they lack armour-plated vehicles that are indispensable to the mission. A source from the Ministry of Defence admitted that a decision about armour plating still had not been taken. “All vehicles will be adapted to the role of the mission in Afghanistan,” an army spokesperson has assured the press.