Suffolk troops off to Afghanistan

MORE than 500 Suffolk based troops were today told they will be going to Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty in April.They are members of 16 Air Assault Brigade which has its headquarters at Colchester but has troops based across Suffolk.

MORE than 500 Suffolk based troops were today told they will be going to Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty in April.

They are members of 16 Air Assault Brigade which has its headquarters at Colchester but has troops based across Suffolk.

The troops going to the troubled Helmand region of Afghanistan include 330 engineers based at Woodbridge and 220 aircrew and technicians from the Army Air Corps based at Wattisham airfield.

The Woodbridge troops are members of 7 Air Assault Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and those deployed from Wattisham are members of 3 and 4 Regiment Army Air Corps.


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They will remain in Afghanistan for six months until October when they are due to be replaced by members of 3 Commando Brigade of the Royal Marines.

Details of the deployment were announced to the House of Commons today by Defence Secretary Des Browne.

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16 Air Assault Brigade - which includes the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Parachute Regiment ­- will take over from 52 Infantry Brigade in April in the latest six-monthly rotation of British forces.

A total of 2,500 troops will be arriving in Afghanistan.

Mr Browne said in a Commons written statement that the bulk of the units involved would be direct replacements for previously announced deployments and that overall force levels would be "broadly unchanged".

Other units involved in the deployment include the Pathfinder Platoon; the 7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery; The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland; The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland; and the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment.

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