1. ITV Report

Soldiers based in North Yorkshire leave their base for Afghanistan

Catterick Garrison Photo: Calendar

Soldiers based in North Yorkshire will be leaving their base later today and heading for a six-month operational tour in Afghanistan.

The soldiers are all members of 4 Regiment Royal Artillery better known as the North East Gunners because of their close knit recruitment area. The unit is based at Alanbrooke Barracks, Topcliffe, Catterick Garrison.

Catterick Garrison Credit: Calendar

The servicemen and women are part of 4 Mechanized Brigade which will take over responsibility for Task Force Helmand next month. The Brigade was last in charge in the province back in 2010 when it suffered heavy casualties.

With combat operations planned to finish at the end of 2014 the emphasis of the tour is transition with the various units within the Brigade mentoring their Afghan colleagues so that they can plan and run their own operations.

It is also expected that the Brigade Commander, Brigadier Bob Bruce, will become the first British commander to be able to send troops home with a total of 500 returning before Christmas.