Friday, October 2, 2009
Scottish soldiers set off on tour of duty in Helmand, Afghanistan
The first soldiers from the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS) are setting off on a tour of duty in Helmand Province.
The battalion's B company left Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh yesterday evening, 30 September 2009, heading to RAF Brize Norton for a flight to Afghanistan, where they will be deployed as part of 3 RIFLES Battlegroup.
About 100 soldiers will make up the deployment and it is the first time they have been posted to the area.
Commanding officer Lt Col Charlie Herbert said the troops were both apprehensive and excited at the move. "I think on the whole there is a real air of excitement in B Company about the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead for them," he said.
"This is largely what they joined for. It's what they have trained for over the past six to nine months. Ultimately it is what they are good at."
However, he admitted there was also a slight air of apprehension. "This is a new operational theatre for soldiers from 1 SCOTS," he said.
"It is a new experience, going to Afghanistan , although they have got a lot of operational experience from Iraq.
"One must not forget they are leaving behind their families for a six-month period so there is always a slight air of unhappiness, tinged, as I said, with that element of excitement."