Mince pies make it as far as Camp Bastion so personnel can still celebrate Christmas.
The Defence Secretary has confirmed that soldiers from the North West will be among those deploying to Afghanistan in the spring.
A young mother from Warrington has won her fight to prove her fiancé fathered their daughter before he was killed in Afghanistan.
An inquest has heard how a soldier from Runcorn took his own life following a traumatic call to his wife from Afghanistan. Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones was just 21 when he was found with a single gunshot wound in the radio tower of a British Army base in Helmand province.
Our correspondent Andy Bonner reports:
The family of a soldier who took his own life have paid tribute at an inquest into his death.
"Ian was a loving husband, father, son and brother. He will be sadly missed by us all. He died while serving his country that he loved and was patriotic to the core. A true hero to us all. He will never be forgotten."
Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones, 21, was found by colleagues at Forward Operating Base Khar Nikar in Helmand province in January. The coroner heard the he had been having marital problems in the months before his death and he has threatened to kill himself.
An inquest has ruled a Runcorn soldier took his own life while the balance of his own mind was disturbed.
Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones, 21, was found by colleagues at Forward Operating Base Khar Nikar in Helmand province in January. The coroner heard the he had been having marital problems in the months before his death.
They has also heard he was worried about a missing piece of phone equipment which he feared he could be fined for. He was also annoyed he hadn't been promoted at the start of his tour of duty in September 2011.
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Soldiers from two North West army units are making preparations to return to the front line in Afghanistan.
The first batallions of the Duke of Lancaster's and the Mercian Regiments will form part of Task Force Helmand.
The soldiers been training at Bulford Camp, on Salisbury Plain today (August 23).