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 final preparations on Salisbury Plain.
More top news
The Thames Valley Police officer was given a guard of honour by his colleagues at a church in Pangbourne.
The Prime Minister welcomed President Emmanuel Macron to the military academy on the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire border.
Thursday evening's forecast for the west of the region