Troops set for Afghan duty

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FYLDE coast troops are to be deployed to Afghanistan in the next few weeks, it has been confirmed.

As first revealed in The Gazette last month, soldiers from 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2Lancs), based at Weeton Barracks, will see six months service in the warzone, as part of Operation Herrick.

And the troops have been in intensive training for their mission for the last few months.

Armed forces personnel said emotions will be running high at the barracks, off Singleton Road, as families prepare to send off loved ones and soldiers look forward to getting into the field.

Col Chris Owen, a retired officer who served with 2Lancs, said: “They have completed an intense period of training, they’ll be ready and looking forward to putting their professional skills into practice.

“There’s always a degree of apprehension in the camp, and that’s understandable, but they will get a lot of support and they’re very proud of the work their sons, daughters or husbands are doing.”

2Lancs will travel out to Afghanistan from late March and will primarily be working with and mentoring the Afghan National Army.

Col Owen said: “There’s a lot of pride in what they’re doing and always a lot of 
support from the North West.”

The group will provide around 500 regular soldiers for the operation, while the 4th Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (4Lancs) will provide 16 Territorial Army soldiers.

This is expected to be 2Lancs last tour of duty in the warzone, as troop numbers reduce to 5,200 by the end of the year.

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