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Light Dragoons to return to Afghanistan

PUBLISHED: 16:54 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:52 07 July 2010

Emma Knights

Soldiers from the Swanton Morley-based Light Dragoons will be going to Afghanistan next year, it was announced today.

About 300 soldiers from the regiment's A and C Squadrons are now in their final preparations for deployment, and they will go to Afghanistan in April 2009.

Soldiers from the Swanton Morley-based Light Dragoons will be going to Afghanistan next year, it was announced today.

About 300 soldiers from the regiment's A and C Squadrons are now in their final preparations for deployment, and they will go to Afghanistan in April 2009.

The Light Dragoons' Commanding Officer Lt Col Angus Watson said: “Once again, the Light Dragoons are preparing for a demanding deployment on operations in Afghanistan. All ranks have undergone intensive, and realistic, training for the tour and are looking forward to confronting the numerous challenges that we will face.

“We are well prepared and well equipped, especially with the new Jackal, and with the traditional spirit of England's Northern Cavalry. We will do all we can to help bring some improvements to the lives of the people of Afghanistan.”

It will be the third time the regiment has been to the troubled country.

Light Dragoons spokesman Capt Tim Badham said: “The situation in Afghanistan and Helmand in particular, has changed dramatically since we were last there. Although there will be fighting, the emphasis now is very much on improving the Afghan Army and Police, and giving the population the security they need to live normal lives.”

Earlier this month soldiers from the A Squadron and C Squadron spent a week at the army's Stanford Training Area (Stanta) in Norfolk where they undertook intensive training in territory that replicated the situation in Aghanistan as closely as possible and gave them vital experience of using the new Jackal patrol vehicle which they will use alongside the regiment's traditional Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle.

In October 2006 C Squadron, attached to the Royal Marines, deployed to the volatile Helmand province and was engaged in some heavy fighting during the winter months. They were replaced in April 2007 by B and HQ Squadrons who had an even tougher time during the summer, engaged in fierce fighting and long battles with determined insurgents.

When the soldiers returned home last year thousands of people turned out to watch the regiment parade through Dereham and welcome the soldiers home.

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