HUNDREDS of soldiers were celebrated in a medal parade in Abingdon, for their service in Afghanistan.
The Queen’s cousin Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, joined hundreds of families and friends at Dalton Barracks to recognise the efforts of 217 soldiers.
The soldiers, from 4 Logistic Support Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), supplied the front line and patrol bases with vital supplies such as water, food, ammunition and medical supplies before their return last month.
Private Jason Carr, 26, of Wantage, said the Afghanistan Operational Service Medal was his first for the Army. “It was great to receive something for sweating in the heat for six months. There were some quiet times and bad times out there. Everyone just missed their family.”
Corporal Stephen Gray, 34, said he missed his four-year-old son Christopher’s first day at school while on his six-month tour in Helmand Province.
He said of the parade: “It was nice to have the family there.”
Each soldier was presented with a medal bearing their name by the Duke of Gloucester, Colonel John Grinstead of the Royal Logistic Corps and Colonel David Luedicke, Commander of Logistic Support Headquarters, 3 UK Division.
The ceremony took place yesterday, with troops marching while the Royal Logistic band played music.
In a speech, the Duke of Gloucester said: “It is well known the challenges you face in Afghanistan but it is evident that clear and meaningful progress is being made, progress that is directly related to your efforts.
“Some of you worked in the most dangerous, arduous and austere environments under constant threat of insurgent interdiction whilst others contributed a supporting role. Every one of you played a significant part in rehabilitating Helmand province.”
'THEY HAVE MADE IT A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE'
- The Abingdon-based 4 Logistic Support Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) is home to more than 500 soldiers.
- From March until November this year 423 soldiers went to Afghanistan from the regiment as part of Operation Herrick 16.
- Commanding Officer of the regiment Lieutenant Colonel Alastair MacIntyre led the officers and soldiers of the regiment.
- On completing Operation Herrick 16, he said: “The soldiers have demonstrated remarkable levels of endurance, resilience and commitment. The team performed to an exemplary standard and has thrived on the challenges the tour has presented.”
- He added: “They have made Helmand Province a better place to live for the local population.”
- The regiment has three main task squadrons which conducted operations in Afghanistan multiple times.