Saturday, September 12, 2009
Prince Edward visits 2 RIFLES in Afghanistan
Prince Edward made a 24-hour visit to British troops in Afghanistan, Buckingham Palace revealed last night.
He arrived in Helmand province late on Tuesday and spent the next day with 2nd Battalion, The Rifles - the unit in which he is Royal Colonel.
The Riflemen have operated shoulder-to-shoulder with members of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.
Prince Edward viewed the town of Sangin from the Fire Support Group tower, which has a commanding view of the area. He also walked outside of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) down to the District Governor's offices to see the development of the Government Zone established outside of the FOB, allowing local Afghans easier access to their Governor, Fazil Haq.
As a thank you for the hard work completed since the Battle Group's arrival in March, the Prince brought with him a selection of fresh foods for dinner. The soldiers have been on ten-man ration packs since July, so this was a very welcome gift.
Speaking with the soldiers over dinner, the Prince said:
"Thank you for having me here and looking after me so well. I wish you the best of luck for the last few weeks, I hope it is painless and productive."
Commanding Officer of the 2 RIFLES Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson, said:
"The visit was a real honour - our Royal Colonel has been in the closest support throughout our time in Sangin and we are very grateful.
"It's been a real boost to the Riflemen whose courage and resolve in the face of the most challenging circumstances has been exemplary. And Prince Edward was able to see some of the successes we have had extending the influence of the Government of Afghanistan."