90 members of C Squadron, led by Officer Commanding Major Alex Michael, were welcomed home to Aliwal Barracks on Tidworth Camp in Wiltshire on Friday 19 October 2012.
The servicemen and women were given an extremely warm welcome by their families, friends and colleagues who were accompanied by colourful banners, balloons and flags.
Being greeted by such friendly faces was exactly what the soldiers needed, according to Major Michael:
C Squadron has been working very closely with the Afghan Uniform Police in the area of Babaji, previously an extremely volatile and dangerous area of Helmand where the Taliban’s intimidation and improvised explosive devices made life a misery for all,” he said.
However, C Squadron has been responsible for continuing the remarkable progress made by the British and Afghan forces in the area.
Over the past six months, the squadron has continued to hand over the responsibility for security to the Afghan Police, whilst continuing to train and mentor them.
Major Michael explained that the mentoring programme carried out by the KRH soldiers had been extremely successful:
Throughout the challenging summer months, when insurgent activity is always at its peak, the performance of the Afghan Police has been excellent, reflecting the intelligent support provided by C Squadron,” he said.
C Squadron’s tour has been physically exhausting, with the soldiers working in searing heat whilst carrying heavy loads of combat supplies across densely vegetated farmland, made treacherous by irrigation ditches and IEDs.
But their training prepared them well and they now leave Afghanistan justifiably proud of their achievements. In particular, they continued to encourage the Afghan Police to work in support of the local population who in turn have learnt to trust and work with the police. This relationship will create the foundations for a stable country in the future.
Despite C Squadron’s return there are still soldiers from the KRH in Afghanistan. B Squadron returns later this week and D Squadron is due to return to Wiltshire in early November. The regiment will then gather together for an operational medal parade in early December.