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Taunton's Royal Marines in training in California

The marines will have be ready to spring into action at a moment's notice Credit: ITV News West Country

Hundreds of men from Taunton-based 40 Commando are training in the deserts of California. Next May they become Britain's high readiness unit which can be deployed anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.

They'll also be doing jungle and cold weather training in Gabon and Norway in the months ahead.

Full report: 40 Commando welcomed home to Taunton

Thousands of people lined the streets of Taunton today, as 700 Royal Marines marched through the town to officially mark the end of their time in Afghanistan.

The Marines from 40 Commando were the very first to be deployed to the country twelve years ago.

This year, after four tours of duty, they're among the last to return.

Bob Cruwys reports:

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Coping with Afghanistan deaths

Sixteen families lost loved ones serving with 40 Commando in Afghanistan. But the unit was by no means the only one to be affected by the conflict.

Families from across our region lost sons, brothers and fathers, who were serving in military units based across the South West.

Ahead of today's parade our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland spoke to Judy Gaden, the mother of Corporal Tom Gaden, who was killed in Afghanistan four years ago:

Thousands turn out to welcome home Marines

Thousands of people have turned out in Taunton to welcome home the Royal Marines of 40 Commando from Afghanistan.

700 Marines paraded through the town's streets which were lined with huge crowds.

The troops were among the very first deployed to the country nearly 12 years ago. Now, after four tours they are among the last to return.

Bob Cruwys reports:

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Royal Marines welcomed home from Afghanistan

The Duke of Edinburgh will present medals to Royal Marines from 40 Commando in Taunton later. A homecoming parade will also take place on the High Street to mark their return from Afghanistan.

Royal Marines rehearsing for today's homecoming parade at Norton Manor Camp Credit: ITV News West Country

It will be a chance to remember the 18 Royal Marines who lost their lives during the decade-long conflict.

ROAD CLOSURES: Homecoming parade in Taunton

A parade to welcome home 40 Commando Royal Marines will take place in Taunton tomorrow and will be attended by thousands of people.

Road closures and diversions will be in place from 7.30 am so do leave time for your journey.

Buses and taxis will be using temporary stops while cyclists should find alternative places to lock their bikes. There's more information here.

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