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Soldiers of the Queen's Dragoon Guards have been preparing for a potential tour to Afghanistan with a live-firing exercise in west Wales.
Over 5 days, Exercise Pashtun Tempest saw more than 100 soldiers from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards learning to operate the new Husky and Foxhound vehicles in readiness for the tour, which will be the last Afghanistan tour to involve British troops.
The Castlemartin range, in Pembrokeshire, which is maintained by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), allowed soldiers to fire their weapons accurately before progressing to more complicated shoots. These culminated in more complex scenarios where soldiers carried out live-firing manoeuvres with support from mortars and airborne assets.
Colonel Richard Howard-Gash, in charge of the DIO’s service delivery training in Wales and the west Midlands, said:
DIO’s priority is to support our armed forces as they prepare for operations. Castlemartin is a diverse training area and the terrain and excellent facilities enable the soldiers to operate armoured vehicles and train effectively.
We are pleased to be able to offer the environment and facilities that support the delivery of this exercise, and to enable our military personnel to train in a way that really prepares them for the challenges they will face whilst on operations.
Lance Corporal Thomas Warner said:
This is the last time we’ll be able to practise live-firing before our potential deployment to Afghanistan. This will be my second tour of Afghanistan and the first time involved in the kandak (an Afghan battalion) liaison team.
The Queen’s Dragoon Guards will go to the Stanford Training Area in Norfolk for a second exercise before the soldiers return to their home base in Sennelager, Germany. Following their return, the troops will take part in simulated training exercises to prepare them for their tour.