Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Freedom accolade for TA soldiers

Territorial Army soldiers are to be granted the Freedom of Castlereagh
Territorial Army soldiers are to be granted the Freedom of Castlereagh

Territorial Army soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be granted the Freedom of Castlereagh.

The troops from 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment and 152 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers are to be awarded the accolade - the highest a local authority can bestow - during a civic centre ceremony.

Specially commissioned medals will also be presented to the service personnel on parade.

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Burgess said: "Over 300 members of the regiment have been deployed over the last 15 years to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations in Cyprus. The Freedom of the Borough is a great honour bestowed on the regiment which will be cherished by our members for years to come."

The units are based in Holywood and Londonderry and served alongside the regular Army in Afghanistan last year helping move essential supplies such as artillery ammunition, combat supplies, bulk water and fuel. They are expected to return to Helmand province for the British military drawdown next year

Mayor of Castlereagh Michael Henderson said: "It is a great privilege for the council today to acknowledge the bravery and dedication of the regiment's brave servicemen and women with the conferment of the Freedom of the Borough, which is the highest accolade a council can bestow on an organisation."

First Minister Peter Robinson is expected to be among the dignitaries to attend the freedom ceremony at Castlereagh Council civic centre from 10.30am on Saturday.

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