Moray based RAF Gunners begin a tenth operational tour in Afghanistan

RAF Lossiemouth based Gunners have joined units from throughout Scotland on deployment to Afghanistan for the tenth time in 12 years.

The RAF Regiment gunners from the Moray base have joined others from RAF Leuchars and Edinburgh who few out at the weekend in support of Op Herrick 19.

5 Force Protection Wing, under the command of Wing Commander Dutch Holland, comprises of an HQ element, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, 58 Squadron RAF Regiment and reservists from both 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron and 2622 (Highland) Squadron.

The 14 Reserve Gunners who have deployed come from all walks of life such as engineers, plumbers, off shore workers and firemen are fully integrated into the regular manpower and trained to the same high level.

The RAF Regiment personnel will take on the job of protecting Camp Bastion from insurgent attack and safeguarding UK and coalition aircraft operating from the airfield.

The men will be deployed for six months and will be engaged in patrol activity around Camp Bastion, securing the perimeter and manning protection and extraction parties on RAF Chinooks as part of the vital Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT).

Wing Commander Holland said: “The Wing Headquarters and both Squadrons have completed a very successful period of pre-deployment training.

“With challenging and highly realistic mission rehearsal exercises and training ranges securely under our belts we are well prepared for the challenges ahead.

“The RAF Regiment plays a key role in enabling air operations in Afghanistan and we look forward to adding another successful chapter to the Regiment’s proud operational history.”

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