Monday, May 11, 2009
A military dog handler who risked rocket attacks and roadside bombs to protect British forces in war-torn Iraq is preparing to fly home.
Corporal Andy Moan is to be reunited with his loved ones in Sunderland after completing a tour of duty in Basra.
The RAF police dog handler served with the Theatre Military Dog Support Unit on patrol at the province's international airport playing a vital security role during the hostilities.
Risking attack by rocket-propelled grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices, the team use their canine counterparts' razor sharp senses to protect personnel and vital equipment from criminal and terrorist threats.
But last month marked the official end of the six-year British mission in the country and now the 22-year-old, who has also served on operations in Afghanistan, is preparing to join the thousands of troops returning home.
"My duties have included working as a police dog handler, as well as other wider duties involved with the policing of military operations on a civilian airfield," said Cpl Moan.
"Working closely with my dog, our aim has been to detect and deter any intruders and to provide military working dog support to ongoing transition operations."
The former Farringdon Community School pupil, who joined the RAF in 2002, is looking forward to flying home and seeing his family, including mum Lynne and dad Colin, and girlfriend Michelle.
"I love you all and will see you soon," said Cpl Moan. "I'm also looking forward to having home-cooked meals and a few beers with my friends. I'll see you all when I get back.
"I also want to thank the people of the UK for all their support for the armed forces."