Patrols and pud for forces far from home this Christmas time

Left to right top: Iain Ramsey, Scott Smith and Ricky Mullen. Bottom row, Josh Wetherall, Samual Dean-Rees and Lee Broster''picture  MOD/SAC Helen Farrer

Left to right top: Iain Ramsey, Scott Smith and Ricky Mullen. Bottom row, Josh Wetherall, Samual Dean-Rees and Lee Broster''picture MOD/SAC Helen Farrer

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Troops stationed in Wattisham and Honington have been talking of the Christmas they will have far from their families in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Iain Ramsay, 34 is serving with Wattisham-based3 Regiment Army Air Corps at Camp Bastion in Southern Afghanistan, where he has a key role as second in command of the signals shift.

He he ensures ground to air communications are working for all British helicopters, not just Wattisham’s Apaches.

He will be working over the Christmas holiday. But he said: ”We’ll try to celebrate Christmas day although we’ll be on shift. But hopefully we’ll have a good meal and see one of the shows put on at the base.”

It is tough for him for him because he will be away from his partner Kim, who is also in the Army Air Corps but not due out to Afghanistan until the summer when he will be home.

Senior Aircraftman Scott Smith, 30,is serving with Honington’s RAF Regiment providing security around Camp Bastion. Though away from wife Stephanie and daughter, Chloe, five , he said: “I’ll probably be working on Christmas Day, but hopefully they’ll be some parcels.”

SAC Ricky Mullen, 20, is normally based with 1 Sq RAF Regiment at Honington and has done a lot in his 18 months with the RAF.

On completing training, he was on special security duties at the London 2012 Olympics.

At Camp Bastion he said; “Christmas will be hard, but the lads will stick together. I am the first of my family and friends to join the armed forces.”

SAC Josh Wetherall, 23, was also in Afghanistan last year with the RAF Regiment and says: “During my last tour it was good to see the difference from the beginning to the end. I hope we can leave safe in the knowledge we don’t have to return.”

SAC Samuel ‘Deano’ Dean-Rees, 22,is with Honington’s 15 Sq RAF Regiment,

“On Christmas Day, I might be out on patrol but I expect we’ll get out the sparklers and cake shortly afterwards.” he said.

He’s looking forward to his work in Helmand with the Medical Evacuation Response Teams but it is a long way from wife Katherine and baby Elijah.

SAC Lee Broster, 23, is also with 15 Sq and said: “There is real job satisfaction doing a real job. We talk to a lot of local people and the kids are always good fun. On Christmas Day I expect to be out on the ground but I’ll be thinking of Caitlin Thomas who has just started as a nurse at Arrow Park Hospital, and my mum and dad who’ll be going out since I’m not home.”