42 Commando take command in Afghanistan
Royal Marines from 42 Commando have officially taken over control of Nad-e Ali North district of Helmand province.
Having arrived in Afghanistan and completed a final course of training and acclimatisation to prepare them for their six month deployment, the Marines headed from Camp Bastion to their base in Shahzad – which will be their home until October.
During that time, 42 Commando (Cdo) will be working alongside members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) providing security in the area so that local people can go about their daily lives safely and without fear.
In a short ceremony at Patrol Base Shahzad, Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment handed over command of Combined Force Nad-e Ali North to the Commanding Officer of 42 Cdo, Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison.
The flag of 3 PARA was lowered and the flag of 42 Cdo raised over the base to mark the arrival of the Royal Marines and the official start of their tour.
Lt Col James Coates, Commanding Officer 3 PARA said:
“When we arrived here, the insurgent was very much in control of the area and local people lived in fear. Over the last six months, we have seen a marked change in atmosphere. Not only have the insurgents virtually left the area but confidence in the Afghan Army and Police has increased dramatically. Locals now feel safe in the knowledge that their own forces are able to provide security with ISAF very much in a supporting role. I am extremely proud of what the whole battlegroup has achieved and I wish 42 Commando every success.”
Lt Col Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer 42 Cdo said:
“A great deal has been achieved here in recent months and our job now is to consolidate the progress that has been made by 3 PARA and build upon it. There is still work to be done and we are confident that we have the training and resources to enable us to continue the development of the Afghan Army and Police, to allow them to take a greater lead in providing the security for the people of Nad-e Ali.”
42 Commando, who are based in Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth, are serving in Afghanistan as part of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.