Troops’ final preparations for Afghan deployment

Members of No 3 Squadron RAF Regimnent based at Wittering call in helipcopter suppot at Stanford Training Area
Members of No 3 Squadron RAF Regimnent based at Wittering call in helipcopter suppot at Stanford Training Area
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RAF troops have spent two weeks at the Stanford Training Area in Thetford preparing themselves for deployment to Afghanistan.

No2 Squadron based at RAF Honington, No3 Squadron RAF Regiment based at RAF Wittering and Tactical Police Squadron based at RAF Henlow joined up as No3 Force Protection Wing to train at the centre, commonly known as Stanta.

The two week exercise saw the three units train to provide effective and external force protection for Camp Bastion.

Wing Commander Andy Jones, who has overseen the operation, said that the training prepares the troops both mentally and physically for what lies ahead.

He said: “There is no doubt that the lads and lasses are looking forward to demonstrating their professionalism on operations and many are also looking forward to a bit of sun. However they will miss their families back home and are reassured that whilst carrying out this essential task at Camp Bastion that their loved ones are being supported by a comprehensive support network back at their respective bases”

The training exercise was supported by helicopters to add realism to the scenarios.

An Afghan village was also set up to replicate the environments the troops will experience once in Afghanistan.

As well as experienced troops, for many deployed this will be their first visit to the war-torn country.

Wing Commander Andy Jones said: “The newer troops are surrounded by others on the squadrons with vast amounts of experience.

“This type of exercise is essential to ensure cohesive teamwork thus creating a good reassuring environment in which to work”