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45 Commando build on the peace in Afghanistan

July 9, 2011

They are halfway through their tour in Afghanistan and 45 Commando Royal Marines are looking to ensure that the recent period of relative peace in Nad ‘Ali (South) continues. Report by Ian Carr.

Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, on patrol around Zaborabad. Picture: LA(Phot) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

In the heat of the Nad ‘Ali afternoon, with doves and mynah birds circling around the ancient mud walls of an old British fortress – now Forward Operating Base Shawqat, I find myself thinking of the old movie cliché, where the battle-soiled soldier turns to his commanding officer and says:

“I don’t like it sir, it’s quiet, too damned quiet.”

Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, keep security on track. Picture: LA(Phot) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

So far, as 45 Commando approach the halfway point of their tour, things have been relatively quiet, especially in comparison to the fire fights that were prevalent until only a few months ago. And Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee does like it, and hopes it will stay like this till the end of the tour, and beyond.

He thanks his predecessors for that:

“We had an excellent handover from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment. I can’t praise them enough. They, and the battle groups before them, have done all the heavy lifting for us. It is our job to build on their achievements and provide a good springboard for HERRICK 15.”

The Lieutenant Colonel though is not complacent. He is well aware that this relative peace is still a fragile one:

To read the rest of this story by Ian Carr on the Defence News website, click HERE, or on the images above.

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