Soldiers from 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Highland Gunners) returned to the UK last Wednesday after their deployment as part of 12th Mechanised Brigade (12 Mech Bde) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The Regiment has been employed across the Province, supporting five Battlegroups, in its Joint Fires role, operating both on foot and from Protected Mobility vehicles e.g. Jackals. The unit’s main piece of equipment was the L118 Light-Gun.
During its tour the Regiment has played a significant role in the mentoring and monitoring of the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA). Its efforts have assisted the country to make significant progress in achieving security for its people.
All 91 members of the Regiment were welcomed home to Bhurtpore Barracks, on Tidworth Camp, Wiltshire, by their families, friends and colleagues. They marched onto the parade square led by a lone piper and to loud cheers.
WO2 Chris Hay (37), from Forfar, was greeted by his wife Ami (27), and son Aidan (3). He said: “To come home to a welcome like this is amazing. It makes it all worthwhile with this kind of support that they give us.
“It has been a long hard six months but the support you get from the guys around you at work makes it a successful tour.
“The regiment’s efforts have been outstanding and we trained long and hard for it, so we knew each other like second nature.
“Everyone performed to high standards and achieved the job and now we are all glad to be home.”
19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Highland Gunners) will now be taking a well earned period of leave, before gathering again at its barracks in Wiltshire for an Operational Medals parade on November 10.