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Soldiers from the Tidworth-based 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (2 RTR) who served in Helmand Province in Afghanistan over the winter will march through Weymouth on Thursday 14 July 2011.
300 ‘Tankies’ spent around six months on active duty between September 2010 and April 2011. The Regiment played a vital role throughout the tour providing heavily armoured support to British infantry.
The soldiers were involved in fighting the insurgents, patrolling towns and villages, repairing schools, protecting vital road building programs linking Helmand’s towns, mentoring the Afghan National Police and even guarding a rock concert.
2 RTR recruits heavily from across Dorset and has kindly been given permission to celebrate their return from Afghanistan with a march along the sea front at Weymouth.
Describing the actions of his soldiers the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Evans said:
“This winter in Helmand the men and women of 2 RTR helped the Afghan Government re-connect with their people. The Tankies provided armoured support to British troops and our friends in the Afghan National Police and Army. Together we protected the people of Afghanistan and aided them in building a better way of life.
“It was a tough winter with harsh weather, a determined enemy and little time for rest. Despite this our soldiers have done an outstanding job and the Taliban are weakened. We left Helmand knowing that we had helped to make progress, we saw new health clinics open, new roads and schools finished and more communities reject the insurgents.”
Captain Tom Lloyd-Jukes, second in command NERO squadron, said:
“2 RTR is proud to be Southern English regiment; indeed, we think of ourselves as Southern England’s armour. The bulk of our soldiers come from the South West. Dorset men have played a large part in forming the Regiment’s character. It will be good to celebrate this heritage when we march through Weymouth on the 14th of July.”