Thursday, April 22, 2010
Troops returning from Afghanistan have arrived back in the UK following a six-month operational tour. It was a homecoming with a difference as flight restrictions meant the soldiers had to come back via the sea.
The 450 soldiers included elements from 33 Field Hospital and sections from the HERRICK 11 Battle Groups.
Sgt Adrian Wendrich, 31, a Multiple Commander with D Coy 1 R WELSH, was based in Nad e-Ali before deploying as part of Op MOSHTARAK with an ANA platoon.
“We achieved a lot working with the ANA," he said. "It was the first time we had patrolled with them like that, and it was critical we had them with us as they could integrate with the local community in a way that we couldn’t because of language barriers. So we did achieve a lot.
“The biggest threat since our last tour has been IEDs. But our Battalion found around 270 – which is a really good result in saving lives.”
Travelling home with the Infantry soldiers were 110 medics from 254 and 253 Med Regt. The medics had been deployed in more than 70 locations around the Infantry Patrol Bases.
“It’s been a tough tour,” confirmed Capt Craig Fulton, 31, RAMC. “But the guys have achieved a hell of a lot supporting the Battle Group, and the Infantry have really appreciated what we do. It’s been hard on them, but it’s definitely something the guys can be proud of."
The medics made their way back to Preston last night to join the rest of their Regiment for their medal parade through Preston this morning.