Around 250 soldiers from The King's Royal Hussars (KRH), many of them from Lancashire, will march through Leyland today to mark their return from service in Afghanistan.
It is an opportunity for soldiers to thank the people of the town, the Borough of South Ribble and the wider county of Lancashire for its continuing support particularly during operations in Afghanistan.
The Regiment, which was honoured with the Freedom of South Ribble in 1992, recruits from the North West but is based in Tidworth, Wiltshire. It recently returned from a six month tour based around Lashkar Gah, the first district in Helmand to transition to Afghan control in 2011. The district has continued to make progress to independently tackle security matters.
The Lashkar Gah Transition Support Unit, led by The King's Royal Hussars, was so successful that it switched from a counter insurgency role to focus on the training of Afghan forces, particularly community policing. The Regiment's efforts along with their Afghan partners saw the insurgency contained further and the Afghan National Security Forces ever more capable of providing enduring security to this region.
Lieutenant Colonel Alex Potts, Commanding Officer of The King's Royal Hussars, said: "We are delighted to be having a homecoming parade in the North West, and Leyland in particular. Most of our soldiers are from the region and the whole Regiment is always made to feel at home whenever we visit.
"Our tour in Afghanistan has been a team effort, the servicemen and women deployed to Helmand rely heavily on the support of their families and friends in Tidworth and in the North West. We have been spoiled in that regard and our parade is a wonderful opportunity for the serving soldiers of the Regiment to thank the good people of Leyland for their support during a most challenging year."
The Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Colin Clark, added: "We are enormously pleased to have the King's Royal Hussars as Honorary Freemen of our borough, and it will be a real pleasure and a privilege to welcome them home following their recent tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"This is a very special occasion for me personally, on what promises to be a poignant weekend. I'm sure the town will again be out in force to thank and cheer on this famous old regiment, of which we are all so proud."