A doctor from the region leaves today to run the army hospital at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
Colonel Ben Banerjee is a surgeon at Sunderland Royal Hospital but is also a member of the Territorial Army.
Civilians provide additional cover to the armed forces during times of conflict and Sunderland Royal has allowed four of its surgeons on tours of duty - a large commitment from one hospital.
You can watch the full report from Julia Barthram below.
More top news
A grieving mother from County Durham is warning that a single punch can kill. Maxine Thompson's son Kristian died after being punched.
A man from Middlesbrough has absconded from prison.
The future of the Quaylink bus service has been secured by the region’s largest bus company following withdrawals in council funding.