Anglians hand over control in Helmand

SUFFOLK'S heroes from the Royal Anglian Regiment have handed over responsibility for the north of Helmand Province in Afghanistan to the Royal Marine Commandos.

SUFFOLK'S heroes from the Royal Anglian Regiment have handed over responsibility for the north of Helmand Province in Afghanistan to the Royal Marine Commandos.

The 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment officially handed over to the commandos from 40 Commando Royal Marines based in Taunton as they return home to a hero's welcome.

The commandos assumed responsibility for the ongoing mission in the north of Helmand, with commanding officer Lt Col Stuart Birrell taking charge.

Lt Col Stuart Birrell said: “We have undergone a comprehensive training package to get us to this point, and now we are here we are keen to get started.

“The mission in Helmand is vital to ensuring that the Afghan authorities can sustain and improve security within the province, enabling further reconstruction and development to take place.

“The unit is determined to build on the progress already achieved by the 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment.”

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40 Commando Royal Marines will be working as part of 52 Infantry Brigade, based in Edinburgh, and will be responsible for the Battle Group North.

The Royal Marines of 40 Commando, will be operating in Helmand Province for a six-month tour of duty and will be working alongside other elements of Task Force Helmand and ISAF including the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group and their Royal Navy colleagues from the Fleet Air Arm.

The Anglians are returning home after a gruelling six-month tour which saw them suffer nine casualties, including 19-year-old Private Aaron McClure, from Marlow Road, Ispwich, who was one of three killed in a friendly fire incident.

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