Notts troops ‘ready’ for Afghanistan

editorial image

More than 100 
Nottinghamshire troops are to be deployed in Afghanistan to support a military alliance.

The soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, have been training in Kabul ahead of their short-term deployment next month.

The 110 soldiers from the Battalion’s ‘D’ (Dragon) Company go to Afghanistan next month for a 10-week deployment to join Operation Toral, as part of the British contribution to the non-combat NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

Major Paul Goddard, officer commanding Dragon Company, said: “Our pre-deployment training on Exercise ‘Kabul Dawn’ has thoroughly prepared all personnel within the company for this task.

“The diverse role and short notice for the deployment has required dynamic training which has challenged and tested all within the company.”

It will be the first time the Regiment has had a collective presence in Afghanistan since 2013.

For Private Elliot Gladwin it will be his first operational deployment having joined the Army two years ago.

He said: “The training for our deployment has been really good.

“It’s been really realistic. I’m looking forward to going out there and doing a good job.”

The deployment will see the Mercians work with the Welsh Guards to form part of the Kabul Security Force, providing Force Protection and secure transport for UK and Coalition mentors.

They will use civilian armoured vehicles which are reinforced 4 x 4 vehicles and dismounted force patrols to move the mentors, who are training, advising and assisting the Afghan forces, around the area, ensuring they can conduct their mission safely.

Councillor Keith Girling, Armed Forces Champion at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Nottinghamshire is proud to have many, long-established links with the armed forces – and the Mercian Regiment in particular.

“I know I speak on behalf of all the people of Nottinghamshire when I wish the 2 nd Battalion a safe and successful deployment in Afghanistan.

“As a former serving soldier myself, I know that tours like these can be an unsettling time – especially for loved ones.”