Waterbeach: Soldiers Get Afghan Medals

19 April 2012, 13:52 | Updated: 19 April 2012, 14:48

Around 200 soldiers have gathered at Waterbeach Barracks in Cambridgeshire to be presented with medals for their work in Afghanistan.

The soldiers, from the 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and 39 Engineer Regiment returned from Afghanistan earlier this month.

Together they form the 'EOD and Search Task Force', and dealt with a total of more than 700 improvised explosive devices while on a six and a half month tour of Helmand Province.

They were presented with medals for the campaign, called Operation Herrick, following a parade at Waterbeach Barracks.

The 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) is based at Wimbish near Saffron Walden.

The 39 Engineer Regiment is based at Waterbeach.

Captain Ali Beard, EOD and Search Task Force Ops Officer, said: "A medal is a way of showing that the soldiers have served out in Afghanistan, and it also shows some appreciation for the work they've done.

The parade is a chance for our friends, families and colleagues to show their appreciation too.

When we served in Afghanistan we were quite spread out, and didn't have the chance to serve together at all times as we were supporting all of the infantry battle groups, so to get together and do the parade, celebrate and have a party afterwards is a great opportunity."

Nicola Reay, who was at the parade to see her husband Gareth Reay, from 39 Engineer Regiment, get presented with a medal, said: "I'm very proud and glad they are all home now.

It's been a long six months, especially over Christmas and just afterwards, but he's back now so everything is ok."