Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

RIR troops bound for Helmand

Hundreds of soldiers from Northern Ireland are being deployed to Afghanistan in the autumn, the Government has announced.

Troops from the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment and Irish Guards will be among the servicemen and women being sent to Helmand Province this October.

Royal Irish reserve soldiers will also make up 16 Air Assault Brigade which will spend six gruelling months in the desert warzone.

News of the deployment comes just two days after Lieutenant Neal Turkington from Portadown was killed.

The 26-year-old was among three Ghurka’s killed by a rogue Afghan National Army soldier. His family are said to be “numb” with grief.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox made the announcement to Parliament yesterday and said there would be no change to the UK’s force level of 9,500 personnel in Afghanistan.

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