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Lance Corporal James Brynin killed in Afghanistan

October 16, 2013

Lance Corporal James Brynin killed in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Tuesday 15 October 2013.

Lance Corporal Brynin, an Intelligence Corps soldier attached to 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), deployed to Task Force Helmand in August 2013 as an intelligence analyst working for a Light Electronic Warfare Team (LEWT) within the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) of 7th Armoured Brigade.

In the early hours of 15 October, the BRF deployed from Camp Bastion into the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province to counter an imminent threat to both the Afghan population and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Towards the end of the operation Lance Corporal Brynin’s section became the target of enemy fire. Together with a sniper and machine gunner of the BRF, Lance Corporal Brynin returned fire, but while extracting from the area he received a fatal gunshot wound.

Click photo to read the full eulogy at GOV.UK

Afghanistan tour lengths for deployed UK personnel

May 14, 2013

The troop rotation arrangements outlining the tour lengths for deployed UK personnel in Afghanistan between now and the end of UK combat operations in 2014 have been announced today.

British and Afghan soldiers pause during a patrol

British and Afghan soldiers pause during a patrol [Picture: Crown copyright]

The new arrangements are designed to ensure that we maximise force protection for our troops during drawdown, while also delivering to the Afghan National Security Forces the support they need throughout a critical transitional period.

Continues at: GOV.UK – Afghanistan tour lengths for deployed UK personnel

British and Afghan troops destroy insurgent explosives cache

May 8, 2013

British and Afghan soldiers have destroyed a significant insurgent bomb cache in Helmand province.

Soldiers from 4th Mechanized Brigade maintain overwatch

Soldiers from 4th Mechanized Brigade maintain overwatch [Picture: Crown copyright]

Soldiers from the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the Household Cavalry Regiment worked shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues from the Afghan National Army during the operation, which marked a successful start to Operation Herrick 18.

The British soldiers are part of 1st Mechanized Brigade which took over from 4th Mechanized Brigade as Task Force Helmand on 10 April.

The operation was conducted jointly as part of a handover with the outgoing Brigade Reconnaissance Force made up of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Acting on intelligence, soldiers from the 1st Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force were inserted by helicopter at first light into a compound in the Nad ‘Ali region of Helmand.

Searching alongside Afghan troops they discovered over 200 kilograms of home-made explosives as well as a large quantity of remote controls and pressure plates used for triggering deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The teams also found a motorbike packed with explosives intended to be used as a suicide bomb.

Continues at: GOV.UK – British and Afghan troops destroy insurgent explosives cache

Fusiliers hand Helmand checkpoint to Afghan Police

May 7, 2013

British soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have handed Afghan security forces control of a checkpoint in Helmand province.

British soldiers load a Wolfhound vehicle with equipment

British soldiers load a Wolfhound vehicle with equipment [Picture: Corporal Si Longworth, Crown copyright]

Checkpoint (CP) Abpashak East becomes the latest checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj district to be handed over to the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP), the primary civil law enforcement agency in Afghanistan, as it continues to grow in strength.

The soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1 RRF) have been deployed in the district since March 2013, operating in support of their Afghan partners along the Helmand River Valley, key route Highway One and the Nahr-e Bughra canal.

Continues at: GOV.UK – Fusiliers hand Helmand checkpoint to Afghan Police

Corporal William Savage, Fusilier Samuel Flint and Private Robert Hetherington killed in Afghanistan

May 2, 2013

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal William Savage and Fusilier Samuel Flint, both from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and Private Robert Hetherington, from 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, died of injuries sustained in Afghanistan on Tuesday 30 April 2013.

Corporal William Savage, Fusilier Sam Flint and Private Robert Murray Hetherington

Clockwise from top right: Corporal William Savage, Fusilier Sam Flint and Private Robert Murray Hetherington [Picture: via MOD]

The soldiers were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 between Forward Operating Base Ouellette and Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai in the Nahr-e Saraj district when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. They were evacuated by air to the military hospital at Camp Bastion, where it was confirmed that they had been killed in action.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of these soldiers, each highly praised and respected by their colleagues and commanders. It is clear from the tributes paid to them that they were exceptional men who served their country with distinction. My thoughts go out to the families and friends of these brave men at this very difficult time.

Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander of Task Force Helmand, said:

The loss of these 3 brave Scottish soldiers comes as a great blow to everyone in the Task Force, but leaves us all the more determined in our task to do justice to their memory. Their families are in our thoughts and I hope that they can draw a little comfort from the affection in which Corporal Savage, Fusilier Flint and Private Hetherington were held by their brothers-in-arms and from the courage they displayed.

Continues at: GOV.UK – Corporal William Savage, Fusilier Samuel Flint and Private Robert Hetherington killed in Afghanistan

Navy reservist creates ‘Afghan Archers’ on Helmand radio

April 30, 2013

A Royal Navy reservist has created a hit radio programme in Helmand province inspired by BBC Radio 4’s popular soap opera ‘The Archers’.

Lieutenant Jo Nicholson RNR

Lieutenant Jo Nicholson of the Royal Naval Reserve [Picture: Sergeant Barry Pope, Crown copyright]

Lieutenant Jo Nicholson has put his farming background to good use while deployed in Afghanistan by creating ‘Crops and the Farmer’ – the show is broadcast in Pashto on Radio Tamadoon and provides advice and tips for Afghan farmers.

Radio Tamadoon is a community radio station run by ISAF for the local people of Helmand, presented by local Afghan DJs.

Working as an Afghan Engagement Specialist in Headquarters Task Force Helmand in Lashkar Gah, 42-year-old Lieutenant Nicholson recognised the potential for a farming programme in Helmand, where the economy is based on agriculture.

Unlike ‘The Archers’, which has regular cast of around 60, ‘Crops and the Farmer’ has only 2 main characters. Lieutenant Nicholson, of the Royal Naval Reserve, described them by saying:

The first is a wise old man called Khodai Dad. He is a village elder and represents the traditional ways of farming in Helmand. Learning from him is Tor Gul, a young man prematurely made head of the family and placed in charge of the family farm.

Continues at: GOV.UK – Navy reservist creates ‘Afghan Archers’ on Helmand radio

Change in Helmand province

April 18, 2013

Senior British military officers described the progress being made in southern Afghanistan at a media briefing in London on Tuesday.

Afghan soldiers prepare to deploy on Operation Tuffan

Afghan soldiers prepare to deploy on Operation Tuffan in Nad ‘Ali [Picture: Corporal Jamie Peters, Crown copyright]

Change is blowing through Helmand. It is not just the change that can be seen in the number of schools now open in the province, nor in the economic improvements being enjoyed by its urban population. It is not even just the increasing freedom of movement that Afghan citizens have as their own security forces incrementally take responsibility for their countrymen’s safety.

It is, however, an important change in that it speaks of the progress being made there; perhaps even more eloquently than the statistics about the numbers of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol bases being closed or handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), or the fact that 40% of Afghans now have mobile phones or that, thanks to a fibre-optic link, there are 4 million subscribers to the internet.

Continues at: GOV.UK – Change in Helmand province

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