Edinburgh-based soldiers return from Afghanistan

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 RIFLES) returned to their base in Edinburgh over the weekend following a demanding six-month operational tour in Afghanistan.

Around 450 soldiers deployed to Helmand province in April 2012 as part of 12 Mechanized Brigade which took command of Task Force Helmand. They took on a variety of roles included training and mentoring the Afghan security forces.

The Commanding Officer of 3 RIFLES, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Maconochie, commanded the Brigade Advisory Group which was responsible for developing the Afghan National Army in preparation for transition.

Sadly the battalion lost Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman on 9 August 2012 while on patrol in the Nad ‘Ali district. Lieutenant Chesterman was commanding a vehicle patrol when the lead vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

As he moved forward to take control of the situation the patrol was engaged by insurgent small arms fire and Lieutenant Chesterman was shot. He later died at Bastion Hospital.

The battalion will hold a homecoming parade in Edinburgh on Saturday 3 November when they will be granted the Freedom of Edinburgh City.