1. ITV Report

People of Rutland line streets to welcome soldiers home

Soldiers of 32 (Minden) Battery, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery marched through the streets of Oakham. Photo: ITV Central

A homecoming parade for soldiers returning from their latest tour in Afghanistan has taken place in Rutland.

Soldiers of 32 (Minden) Battery, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery marched through the streets of Oakham.

They were accompanied by the Band of the Gurkhas.

Crowds lined the street in Rutland to welcome the soldiers home Credit: ITV Central

The soldiers, who have spent the last six months in Afghanistan, were responsible for the operation of the force protection systems at Camp Bastion and Kandahar.

This morning, they marched along Station Road and Melton Road onto the High Street continuing to Oakham Castle where the soldiers were awarded their Op Herrick Campaign medals.

The medal parade will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard OBE JP, the Chairman of Rutland County Council and the Mayor of Oakham.

After six months in Afghanistan the people of Rutland brought out the flags to welcome the troops home Credit: ITV Central

Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard OBE JP, the Chairman of Rutland County Council and the Mayor of Oakham attended today's homecoming parade.

The only Rapier Regiment in the British forces, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery provides low level air defence over the battlefield.

It is armed with the Rapier system, a land-based air defence system, responsible for defending essential resources such as airfields and bases.

The Rapier system consists of a launcher with eight ready-to-fire missiles, a surveillance radar and tracker system.

The Op Herrick Campaign medals presented to the soldiers today Credit: ITV Central

"I hope the people of Oakham will put aside half an hour to line the streets from Northgate to the Castle to show their support to soldiers who live in their community.

"We are extremely grateful for all the support that the local community has shown and continues to show the Regiment and very much appreciate Rutland County Council marking our return with this event."

– – MAJOR CHRIS JAMES RA(BATTERY COMMANDER OF 32 (MINDEN) BATTERY)

"The people of Rutland particularly have really taken us to their hearts and it's nice to be giving them a bit of a show today, so they have something to come out and cheer for."

Lionel Robinson, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery"It's good to see the people come out and support us, it gives us a good feeling inside that we're actually doing a worthy cause and that the community are behind us."

James Philips, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery

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