Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bedworth soldier to end tour of duty in Iraq

A SERVICEMAN from Bedworth who was with the first British invasion force into Iraq six years ago will now feature in the final withdrawal from the country this summer.

Sgt Jason Griffiths, an RAF gunner, is currently deployed at the Contingency Operating Base just outside Basra, helping to provide critical security to the multi-national military.

The 40-year-old former Ash Green pupil - know as “Griff” to his colleagues - was initially deployed to Kuwait with the collation forces and in January 2003, when the invasion first took place, he moved to the port of Umm Qasr and ended his first six months in Iraq being stationed in Basra.

“I was the Junior Non Commissioned Officer in charge of the Combined Incident Team responsible for providing protection for RAF Helicopters as the British Forces advanced north from Kuwait,” said Sgt Griffiths.

“I have really enjoyed working in Basra. Interacting with the local Iraqi population, in and around the surrounding area, has been one of the best parts of the job.”

After joining the RAF in1986, Sgt Griffiths has had various roles, including jungle operations in Belize, desert deployments in Afghanistan and active service in Germany and Cyprus.

At home, he is based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire - and, as an avid Coventry City supporter, always looks forward to watching his team in action at the Ricoh.

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