Praise for homecoming troops

GUNNERS who have spent the past six months in the searing Iraqi heat have been welcomed back to Suffolk and praised for their work.

GUNNERS who have spent the past six months in the searing Iraqi heat have been welcomed back to Suffolk and praised for their work.

The 140-strong 2 Squadron RAF Regiment, based at Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, flew back into the UK on Sunday morning via RAF Mildenhall.

Yesterday, at a special medal ceremony, the squadron was praised by the base commander at RAF Honington for their efforts during the tour.

Despite the scorching heat around Basra and the occasional indirect fire they encountered from Iraqi insurgents, every member of the squadron made it back safely.


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Flight Sergeant Roger Hopper, 40 said: “We were there to make sure our aircraft did not get shot out of the sky. All the stuff we did was off-base.”

He told how much had changed in and around Basra since he was last sent to Iraq. He said previously the Basra airbase would come under attack on a daily basis. Now, he said, it was attacked once a month.

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Members of the regiment were praised by RAF Honington's commander, Group Captain Russ La Forte, who presented service medals to those who had not been to Iraq before.

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