Cumbrian soldier awarded

A Cumbrian soldier who took on the role of his absent officer to get supplies to one of the deadliest regions in Afghanistan is awarded.

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Soldiers return from Afghanistan in time for Christmas

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been greeted by friends and family as they returned home in time for Christmas.

Kingsman Danny Gasgarth with his fiancee Grace Maltby and their daughter Lucy aged 2
Kingsman Danny Gasgarth with his fiancee Grace Maltby and their daughter Lucy aged 2 Credit: Cpl G Moreno RLC/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

The troops from Burma Company of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment are the first batch of personnel to return from Helmand Province as part of the Government's decision to reduce the British commitment in Afghanistan by 500 soldiers.

They arrived at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, late last night.

Kingsman Kurt Pollack as troops from Burma Company of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment returned home
Kingsman Kurt Pollack as troops from Burma Company of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment returned home Credit: Cpl G Moreno RLC/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Kingsman Kurt Pollock, 27, from Lancaster, whose wife was expecting their second baby, said: "We went to the area but the Afghan police had pretty much been leading most of the operations anyway. We're coming home early because the job has been done.

"I'm chuffed about going home, I'm looking forward to seeing my wife and son, as well as look at the photographs of the scan of the baby on the way."

Scots soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence have announced that a soldier from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed in Afghanistan yesterday.

The soldier was killed whilst in Patrol Base Shawqat, in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

It is thought that his death was the result of an "insider attack" when he was shot by an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.

The man has not yet been named, but his next of kin have been informed.

"This is incredibly sad news for the battalion and everyone serving in Task Force Helmand.

As we mark Remembrance this weekend, our thoughts now turn to the soldier's family and friends whose loss is so much greater than ours".

– Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for Task Force Helmand

Cumbrian soldiers train for Afghanistan

Soldiers load mortars Credit: ITV Border

Soldiers from the North West's Infantry regiment have been firing some of the heavy weapons used by troops in Afghanistan during a training exercise in Cumbria.

Around 90 soldiers from the second battalion Duke of Lancaster's regiment are taking part in training exercises at the Warcop Training camp in Cumbria. The regiment draws many of its soldiers from the county.

They're honing their skills on some of the most potent kit available including grenade machine guns, heavy machine guns and mortars, learning the sorts of skills they'll need if they're sent out to Afghanistan.

Heavy weapons firing is a vital part of that readiness training should the unit be called upon. The 1st battalion is currently on it's way to the war zone.

A motar is loaded Credit: ITV Border

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Scottish regiment deployed to Afghanistan

Soldiers from across Southern Scotland are about to begin a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan. The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS) will help train and mentor Afghan security forces in Helmand Province.

The regiment was last there in 2010 when they lost three men, including Lance Corporal Joseph Pool from Dumfries.

The first troops will leave from Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh on Monday 17th September. In total 450 soldiers will be deployed.

A farewell parade has been held in Edinburgh. A new CD featuring the pipes and drums of 1 SCOTS has been released to help raise funds towards battalion welfare projects.

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