CHESTER soldiers have just landed in Afghanistan.
1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) has left its North Yorkshire base to begin its first tour of Afghanistan, which will last six months.
The troops will be partnering both the Afghanistan national army and police.
This will help the government of Afghanistan to introduce increased security, stability, development, rule of law, freedom of movement and reconstruction in the area.
An MoD spokesman said: “More than 520 soldiers from 1 Mercian have left their base at Marne Barracks, Catterick Garrrison, for their six- month operational tour on Operation Herrick 12 in Helmand province, Afghanistan.”
Facebook groups in support of the troops, containing messages of support from wives, girlfriends, family and friends, have been created.
One message said: “Good luck with the tour, every last one of you is a true hero. Hope you all get home safe.”
Another well-wisher said: “Good luck to all the 1 Mercian Regiment out in Afghanistan, thinking of you all especially my boyfriend. I love you and miss you loads.”
Last week Private Daniel Smith, 21, from Huntington, took time out to return home to share his experiences of Army life before travelling to Afghanistan.
The former Christleton High School pupil had just completed his 26-week military training course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.
Daniel has travelled with the 1 Mercian Regiment to Afghanistan.
He said: “You have to think about what life out there will be like but I’m really looking forward to the experience I’ll get in Afghanistan.”