Saturday, June 30, 2012

Armed Forces Day: With the UK troops in Afghanistan

BBC's Caroline Wyatt Defence correspondent, in Afghanistan

As the UK marks Armed Forces Day with a parade in Plymouth and events across the country, almost 10,000 British forces are still serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

The men and women of 12 Mechanised Brigade are now halfway through their tour.

watch the video and read more on BBC site

It is morning and already sweltering in the bazaar in the town of Nad Ali, in central Helmand, with the temperature hitting the high 40s by midday.

On a rare British patrol through the town, Private Harry Turner is thronged by curious Afghan children, asking for pens and sweets.

He is pleased to be here, and keen to prove himself with his 1 Royal Anglian comrades.

He started training in September, two days after his 18th birthday, and initially did not expect to do a full six-month tour of Helmand.

"My mum was a little bit shocked, because she thought I'd only be out here for two weeks. But my mum and dad, and family are all supportive about me being here," he says.

"I was happy to stay out here. Obviously, you get the odd day where you just want to be home because you miss your bed and you're fed up of sleeping on rough beds, but I like it."

from BBC
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