Suffolk: Final Preparations For Afghanistan

31 August 2012, 06:00

Troops of 15 Squadron Regiment at RAF Honington have been doing final preparations for a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

15 Squadron Regiment of RAF Honington in Suffolk joined two other units as they prepare to leave for Camp Bastion in October.

7 Force Protection, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and 2 Tactical Police Squadron based at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire also joined the exercise. 

The specialist training has been designed to prepare the troops for Operation Herrick.

Exercises include foot patrolling, physical protection and live response situations that may be faced in Afghanistan.

Flight Lieutenant Simon Hamilton, Deputy Squadron Commander, told Heart the training is tough but worthwhile: "The current training we're undergoing is the most intense stage but it's scenario's we're familiar with.

"Generally we aim to have a peak in the training a month before the deployment. We have programmed in a bit of family time in before we go which is just as important."

The three seperate units will join together to provide effective internal and external Force Protection to Camp Bastion.

Wing Commander, Chris Bishop who will be overseeing the operation said the training prepares the troops mentally as well as physically: "They join up to do something different and to make a difference. It's what they signed up for. It's the pinnacle of what they do.

"For those going the first time i think it gives them them a right of passage. They've joined a unique club of going on deployment and to get the experience while hopefully coming back knowing they've made a difference."

The deployment to Operation Herrick in Afghanistan will run from October to May 2013.