1. ITV Report

Soldiers' Homecoming Parade

Homecoming parade for soldiers to take place today Photo: ITV Central

A homecoming parade for soldiers returning from their latest tour in Afghanistan will take place in Rutland.

Soldiers of 32 (Minden) Battery, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery will march through the streets of Oakham. They'll be accompanied by the Band of the Ghurkhas. 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 will march along Station Road and Melton Road onto the High Street continuing to Oakham Castle where the soldiers will be awarded their Op Herrick Campaign medals. Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard OBE JP, the Chairman of Rutland County Council and the Mayor of Oakham will attend 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.

"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)

More on this story