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Royal Marines take the baton from the Royal Irish in Nad’ Ali

April 5, 2011

Royal Marines from 45 Commando are settling into camp in Afghanistan at the start of their six-month tour after taking over the reins in Nad ‘Ali (South) from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment who have been providing security and laying the groundwork for future transition over the last six months.

Lieutenant Colonel Colin Weir, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (left), formally hands over to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee, Commanding Officer of 45 Commando Royal Marines (Picture: Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011)

The unit, which has deployed as part of 3 Commando Brigade on Operation HERRICK 14, has now assumed responsibility for Combined Force Nad ‘Ali (South), which they will command until September 2011.

A ceremony to mark the transfer of authority from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH), who have completed their tour of duty, took place at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shawqat over the weekend.

During the service, the 1 R IRISH flag was lowered and the colours of 45 Commando were raised as the Commanding Officer of 1 R IRISH, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Weir, formally handed over to the Commanding Officer of 45 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee.

Members of 45 Commando Royal Marines and 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment dine with members of the local Afghan National Army and Police and Habibullah Khan, the District Governor of Nad 'Ali (South), at Forward Operating Base Shawqat (Picture: Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011)

Lt Col Lee said his men are ready for the task ahead, adding:

“Throughout the build-up to our deployment our training has been superb and everyone is extremely well-prepared.

“This has been enhanced further by an excellent week of final acclimatisation in Afghanistan.”

The night before the handover, ISAF forces hosted a dinner at FOB Shawqat for members of the local Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police and the District Governor of Nad ‘Ali (South), Habibullah Khan, who supplied the traditional Afghan food that was eaten.

During the meal, the District Governor spoke about the recent improvements to security and praised the contribution and sacrifice made by the 1 R IRISH Battle Group as well as by ISAF and Afghan forces, and he also welcomed 45 Commando to Nad ‘Ali (South).

Lt Col Lee knows it is important to get to know the local people in order to succeed.

He continued:

“This exposure has left me even more strongly of the view that this is an area of great progress and presents a real opportunity for 45 Commando to make a difference for the better.

“Our predecessors have done a first class job, provided us with a tight handover, and therefore set us up for success. The rest is up to us and I know that we are equal to the challenge.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 21:57

    Hope my flag flies well stay safe
    Chrissie

  2. April 5, 2011 22:16

    Stay safe lads ….first parcels on the way:0)

    Heids doon n chin up!

    best wishes
    Agnes & all @ SoS
    x

  3. I_love_Afghanistan permalink
    April 6, 2011 03:28

    Good stuff! Well done, 1 R. Irish, and **go 3 Commando!**

  4. neil permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:21

    Good luck to you all,have a safe tour.We have the best then and now.

  5. April 7, 2011 20:27

    Good Luck on your Tour – will be praying for you all and your loved ones.

    Well done Royal Irish – Don’t expect you’ll miss Afghan: Also remembering your losses (R.I.P) and your wounded.

    May God Bless All Our Soldiers. x

  6. Peter permalink
    April 9, 2011 21:35

    Go 45, but keep your heads down , your spirits up and the mission in mind

    God bless you all

  7. George permalink
    April 14, 2011 20:20

    Godspeed 45//You are very brave men//

  8. kirsten luff permalink
    May 22, 2011 21:22

    Just to let you know I am very proud oyf you all and especially my boy! Keep safe and come home soon!

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