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Heroes come marching home
MARCHING proudly behind a regimental piper, 90 soldiers from 28/143 Battery of 19th Regiment, Royal Artillery (The Highland Gunners) marched into Bhurtpore Barracks to the cheers and applause of their families.
They were returning from their tour in Afghanistan as the artillery support to 12th Mechanised Brigade in Helmand Province.
The Regimental Headquarters building was decorated with huge welcome home banners painted by children.
Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Davies led the reception party, which cheered ecstatically as the soldiers were fallen out into the arms of their loved ones.
During its tour the regiment played a significant role in mentoring and monitoring the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA), helping to train the ANA Artillery.
Lieutenant David Seath, who was a gun position officer with 28/143 Battery, said: “We had a very busy time, supporting all of the brigade’s battle groups.
“We had fire support teams with each battle group so that we could bring down fire quickly where it was needed. This came at a cost; we suffered a number of casualties, none fatal, I am glad to say.
“Our tour was at the height of summer and at times the temperature reached 50C, pretty oppressive with all the kit we had to wear, and we are all glad to be back.”
The soldiers now go on some well earned post operational tour leave. The next big occasion will be the amalgamation with 40th Regiment, RA (The Lowland Gunners), who are currently based in North Yorkshire. This will happen on December 12, when the regiment will be renamed 19th Regiment, Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners).