Honington snipers help protect Afghan civilians

A sniper with the type of long range rifle the RAF regiment used to protect an Afghan family
A sniper with the type of long range rifle the RAF regiment used to protect an Afghan family
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SNIPERS from the RAF Regiment helped to protect an Afghan family during an attack by insurgents.

On Wednesday, the Regiment’s 70th anniversary, the Ministry of Defence said a foot patrol from Honington’s II Squadron were sitting down talking to elders and children when they came under fire from an insurgent position.

A spokesman said: “Reacting quickly, the patrol ensured the civilians were out of harm’s way before taking cover themselves.

“Having positively identified the firing position, the RAF Regiment patrol returned fire with a range of weapons including the L115A3 long range rifle, a state-of-the-art weapon used to locate and eliminate enemy activity.

“After the insurgent threat had passed, the local family thanked the RAF Regiment by passing around naan bread.”

The snipers’ long-range rifles have an effective range of more than 1,100 metres, which enabled them to take on the enemy while remaining close to and protecting the family’s position.

The RAF Regiment, known as Gunners, conduct foot and vehicle patrols with the Afghan National Army (ANA) to ensure Camp Bastion and the local community are protected from insurgent attack.

They have been working to build relations with the local community and regularly hold shuras (meetings) with local elders.

Honington-based II Squadron is scheduled to return in April when it hands over in Helmand to 51 Squadron RAF Regiment from RAF Lossiemouth. Honington’s 15 Squadron will deploy to Afghanistan in October.