Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Afghan heroes parade through central London

Service personnel from 3 Commando Brigade, recently back from fighting in Afghanistan, paraded through central London today, as they made their way to a prestigious Parliamentary reception at Westminster Palace.

Members of Parliament from all parties invited members of 3 Commando Brigade to attend the event to allow them to show their appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice shown by the marines and soldiers on their winter deployment to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 9.

Around 120 personnel marched from Wellington Barracks, led by the Royal Marine’s Band. The parade marched down Birdcage Walk and Parliament Square, arriving at the Houses of Parliament a where they were addressed by Lindsay Hoyle, vice chairman for the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Royal Marines. The troops then proceeded to a reception organised by members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Army.

3 Commando Brigade have been returning from Afghanistan over the past two months, following an extremely tough six-month tour in Helmand province. The tour was marked by high profile, ongoing operations, including Operation SOND CHARA (Red Dagger), which successfully cleared Taleban from the Nad-e-Ali area, and Operation DIESEL, which destroyed Improvised Explosive Device manufacturing facilities and captured chemicals and equipment that, if used to process Opium into Heroin, would have had a UK street value of £50m.

The Brigade suffered 33 fatalities during the course of the tour, and saw many other men seriously injured, a reflection of the extreme intensity of the six month period and the highest of any winter tour.

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