Soldiers from 1 Mechanized Brigade have attended a Thanksgiving & Memorial Service at Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire.
The service marked the return of the Brigade from its recent tour of Afghanistan, and commemorated personnel who lost their lives in Helmand and the UK.
More than 6,000 personnel from the Brigade deployed on Operation Herrick 18 from April to October 2013 as Task Force Helmand (TFH), the first and last deployment that the Brigade will undertake.
“It was a very moving service we were unfortunately commemorating the loss of three personnel in Afghanistan and four from the Brigade who died in the UK.
“So it was a very touching service for all those who knew them including their families.
“This was also a thanksgiving both for the senior officers to thank the troops under their command and for the nation to thank the troops who have been serving in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 18 for the magnificent work they have done in support of the Afghan National Forces.”
– Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology,
Their role will mark the beginning of the endgame of operations in Afghanistan - but will be no less hazardous. Soldiers from the 1st Mechanized Brigade, drawn from bases across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, are about to embark on a sixth month deployment to Helmand.
Martin Dowse watched them make their final preparations on Salisbury Plain.
Troops from 1 Mechanized Brigade have been showcasing their skills on Salisbury Plain ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan. The brigade have been completing the final phase of their training ahead of their tour of the wartorn country.
The soldiers will join Operation Herrick in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in the Summer. Actors have joined the troops, playing the soldiers' Afghan counterparts during today's training exercises on Salisbury Plain.