Plymouth-based 42 Commando Royal Marines have hit the desert sand running as they plunge straight into intensive hot weather training.
The Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo has returned home today after an epic deployment of more than a year and a half.
The body parts and tissue of soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been kept by the Ministry of Defence without their families' permission.
A Navy warship has returned to Devonport today after nineteen months away. The survey vessel HMS Echo has been mapping the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
Her crew have all manged to get home during the deployment, which involved tackling Somali pirates. Our defence correpsondent John Andrews reports.
– ARMY SPOKESMAN
There are occasions when it is necessary for the RMP Special Investigations Branch to retain slides of forensic material from individuals killed on operations as part of their investigation - this is standard practice.
However, the RMP identified there were a small number of cases where this had been done without the correct processes being followed to inform families. It is thought there could be 60 forensic items, such as microscope slides, containing material from some individuals.
Investigations are being carried out urgently into this matter. "
The body parts and tissue of soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been kept by the Ministry of Defence without the permission of their families.
Officials have admitted that six body parts and more than 50 tissue samples were retained by the Royal Military Police.
They were discovered last month when a new manager was appointed at the Military Police's Special Investigations Branch (SIB).
An urgent investigation has been launched and the MOD are trying to identify and inform the families affected.
– Army Spokesman
The body parts were reportedly found at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, while the tissue samples - which were kept on laboratory slides for matching or identifying the dead soldiers - were discovered at the SIB's headquarters at Bulford Garrison in Wiltshire. It is believed that because multiple samples were taken for each case, the number of families affected is likely to be less than 60."