Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the frontline with our boys in Iraq

Private Richard Partridge on patrol in Iraq.

Private Richard Partridge on patrol in Iraq.

Following a four-day stay with Lincoln troops in Iraq, Echo defence reporter Cerri Delaney writes about her experience of life in the once war-torn country.

While in Basra she stayed with the 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, also known as the Poachers.

"I'm not sure what I thought I'd find when I got to Basra, but a eerie silence wasn't it.

Before flying in on the RAF Hercules aircraft, I had to don full body armour and helmet, which did nothing to quash a mounting fear and the question of why I had decided to come here.

The war-torn city had such a reputation for being a hotbed of militia activity, I was fully expecting to hear bullets zipping past my head, or the distant sound of bombs peppering the night air.

Instead, I was greeted with a quiet calm and soldiers who seemed almost bored of the back seat role they play to Iraqi troops.

The UK force's main job in the city and its surrounding provinces, is to act as mentors for the Iraqi Army, with a lot of time spent advising Iraqi forces on conducting operations and training their troops.

The Poachers have completed five months of a six-month tour, which began shortly after the British forces handed over control of Basra in April this year to the Iraqi Army."

Click here for the Lincolnshire Echo

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