Prince Charles honours troops for Afghanistan tour

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The Prince of Wales has honoured brave troops who served a four month tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan.

Prince Charles presented Operational Service medals to about 40 soldiers from 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps at Wattisham Flying Station today.

Prince Charles meets troops at Wattisham Flying Station

Prince Charles meets troops at Wattisham Flying Station

They returned from Afghanistan in January after operating Apache attack helicopters.

The heir to the throne viewed two Apaches, an Oshkosh fuel tanker and met reservists from Bury St Edmunds based 6 Regiment Army Air Corps (Volunteers), who were deployed as ground crew with 662 Sqn.

A selection of long service medals and good conduct medals were also presented and Major Simon Beattie received the Colonel in Chief trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding officer in the Army Aircorps each year.

Lance Corporal Matt Hardy, who is a reservist and Newmarket stud farmer, has met Prince Charles about nine times.

He said: “It’s a privilege as many people I know would like to meet him. It’s one of those things money can’t buy.”

Prince Harry was on an overseas visit to America during his father’s visit to Wattisham.

Lance Corporal Shelley Turner-Dockery, who is part of 6 Regiment and was with her husband Matthew and four children, has met Prince Charles once before at Sandringham.

She said: “He remembered us and spoke to us about Crimson Eagle which is pre-deployment training in Arizona. We loaded Harry’s first hell fire missile and rockets.”

Captain Thomas Brunwin, of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, received a medal. He said it was the ‘icing on the cake’ having married his wife Jo at the weekend at Bildeston Church.