Teenager promoted

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A TEENAGER from Kimberley who is in the RAF was promoted to lance corporal when he returned from Afghanistan.

Thomas Barker, 19, was sent on a seven week training course in Wales where he qualified for the position.

His mum, Suzanne, of Park Avenue, Kimberley, said: “I’m so proud of him.

“They (RAF bosses) said he will be one of the youngest lance corporals in the regiment.

“I’m already looking forward to him being promoted to corporal!”

Thomas was chosen for promotion after doing a six-month tour in Afghanistan as a machine gunner between January and July last year.

He joined the RAF when he was 17 after finishing a course in public services at Clarendon College in Nottingham.

The ambitious teenager serves in II Squadron RAF Regiment and is based at RAF Honington in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk.

He will be deployed for another operation in Afghanistan at the end of this year.

Machine gunners control the weapons on the top of the tanks.