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Lost Afghan bird swoops in on soldiers

Come here birdy, birdy...... Credit: MOD

Military staff were surprised when an Afghan fighting bird swooped by their Helmand headquarters.

As officers continued with the ongoing mammoth task of returning kit from Camp Bastion, a lost partridge found itself inside the large building in Britain’s desert base.

Feathered friend has a look around the base Credit: MOD

The distinctively-coloured birds, known as Chukar partridges in central Asia, have existed for centuries and were bred in the past to fight in several regions of Afghanistan.

But on this occasion one merely perched on the rafters at Joint Force Support (Afghanistan), where staff are overseeing the return of thousands of items of kit and people to the UK.

Headquarters Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer 2 Stuart Evans, cajoled the flyer to a safe area outside the main building, where it enjoyed a bite to eat before flying off.

WO Evans, from Wickham, Hampshire, said: “This is a busy headquarters working on a major task, so we’re usually focused on the detail of that.

“It simply strolled in, but attempts to usher it outside made it head for the roof space. It was certainly a welcome distraction and talking point as it moved around the HQ.”

At sea for Christmas: Sailors feeling festive on board HMS Westminster

Sailors enjoying their Christmas dinner on board HMS Westminster Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Navy sailors on board the Portsmouth based warship HMS Westminster have been enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner at sea.

Tucking in: 80kg of turkey was taken on board Credit: Royal Navy

The Ship, which will be away over the Christmas period, had been hoarding away in her freezers 80kg of Turkey along with 20kg of Beef and Gammon, 120kg of potatoes, 30kg broccoli, 30kg carrots, 150 yorkshire puddings, 300 pigs in blankets, 20kg brussel sprouts and to top it off, 15 Christmas cakes.

The ship has been on counter drugs and piracy operations Credit: Royal Navy


Flooding continues: River Medway in Maidstone

High water. The River Medway in Maidstone Credit: ITV Meridian

The towpath disappeared along the River Medway in Maidstone.

54 Flood Warnings remain in place across the south east and 100 Flood Alerts are in place where residents are told that flooding is possible.

For more details from the Environment Agency click here.

Christmas on the frontline: Messages from our troops in Afghanistan

Troops from the Meridian region serving in Afghanistan this Christmas have been sending their special messages to loved ones back home.

It comes as the Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his pledge to pull soldiers out of the country by the end of 2014.

The troops included in this Christmas message are:

Sapper Ben Msichilli from Maidstone, Lance Corporal Nicola Thompson from Bournemouth, Air Trooper Leo Domeisen from Bournemouth, Corporal Matthew Rogerson from Reading and Signaller Tom Page from Hastings.

First man in UK with mind-controlled prosthetic arm

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite, who lost his arm whilst serving in Afghanistan, has become the first person in the UK to receive a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.

Andrew has shown off his prosthetic, which was fully funded by the Ministry of Defence, to his peers during his visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Headley Court.

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite in Afghanistan Credit: Defence Imagery
The team using specialist software to link his mind and nerves to move the prosthetic Credit: Defence Imagery

Corporal Garthwaite was injured by a rocket propelled grenade on operations in 2010.

But after 18 months of world class rehabilitation, he is now able to control movement of his prosthetic arm with his mind, by focusing his thoughts on the nerves connected to muscles in his chest.

Testing the prosthetic by unwrapping a sweet Credit: Defence Imagery
Andrew showing colleagues at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Credit: Defence Imagery


PICTURES: Soldiers march in Windsor

The Princess Royal has take a salute from Soldiers of the Household Cavalry in Windsor this morning.

The soldiers are marching through the town, marking the regiment's final return from Afghanistan.

The troops will go on to file past Windsor Guildhall.

Soldiers marching in Windsor Credit: ITV News Meridian
The soldiers have returned from Afghanistan Credit: ITV News Meridian
The soldiers are of the Household of Calvary
They will go on to file past Windsor Guildhall Credit: ITV News Meridian

Army medics to march through Gosport

A group of army medics will be officially welcomed home to Gosport today after working in Afghanistan.

The men and women of 33 Field Hospital provided care for troops serving in the country, as well as the local community. They will march out of the former Haslar Hospital site after receiving their Herrick medals.

"We sincerely hope that on 30th October the weather will be kind to us and the sun will shine as we gather to give thanks for the safe return of the extremely brave men and women of 33 Field Hospital. We hope that the people of Gosport will do us proud by coming along to show their support and to thank them all for the wonderful work they have done, in not only providing care for the service men and women based in Afghanistan, but also to the local community."

– Mayor of Gosport, Councillor John Beavis
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