Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Honington: Excitement and relief as soldiers return home

09:00 22 November 2012

Sqn Ldr JJ Collins Officer Commanding D Squadron 1 Royal Tank Regiment is re-united with Carla Hill.

Sqn Ldr JJ Collins Officer Commanding D Squadron 1 Royal Tank Regiment is re-united with Carla Hill.

Archant

THE last tranche of soldiers from 1 Royal Tank Regiment returned home to an emotional welcome from family and friends last night.

shares

Some 100 soldiers from D Squadron arrived at RAF Honington to tears and relief from wives, girlfriends, parents and children.

It followed three months in Afghanistan where they provided Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) training to 4 Mechanised Brigade who began a six month deployment in October.

They were met with eager faces from their waiting loved ones as they entered the Corporals’ Mess to the sound of a piper.

Sergeant Michael O’Connor arrived home to his wife Natasha and son Alfie. She said: “It’s really hard to describe how you feel – I’m excited and it’s a relief to see them.

“When they’re away it starts off as quite difficult but then you get into a routine and get your head down and then for the last bit you’re tired and you can’t wait – I’ve been counting down the hours.”

Her husband added: “It’s quite overwhelming to see everyone here, to be honest. I miss him and my wife so much.”

Lance Corporal Declan Costello was greeted by his relieved partner Zoe Charnock.

He said: “I’ve done a tour before which was six months so it was quite an easy brief, but being away from Zoe and my family is hard – the rest of it is the job.”

Jeanette Green had her hands full with four young children, aged eight, seven, four and 13 months, while her husband Sgt Aaron Green was away.

The mandatory RSOI training is the final stage of a six-month-long package to ensure that the soldiers have the most up-to-date tactics, techniques, procedures and intelligence at their disposal.

This was the second three-month tour for the troops which has seen them train more than 10,000 soldiers and civilians.

Squadron Leader Major J.J. Collins, whose partner Carla Hill was waiting for him, said the deployment had been a success. “It’s quite a routine job but we were training about 9,000 people and know how vital it is,” he said.

The regiment will now conduct a series of homecoming parades to mark its return from Afghanistan. These will take place in Glasgow on Saturday, Bury St Edmunds on November 28 and Liverpool on December 1.

shares

0 comments

Funday at the Butchers Arms in Knodishall in aid of the Somersham Ward at Ipswich Hospital. L-R David Hanlon,organiser Emma Churchyard,Tina Fisher.

A family fun day raised £400 for cancer care at Ipswich Hospital.

Hundreds of people enjoyed Orford Fete and flower show at the weekend. BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson handed out the trophys.  Nick Robinson with John Henry Brown who won 'Best in Show' for the third year in a row.

Giant fruit and veg, canine competitions, a local personality – it’s the perfect recipe for a Suffolk village celebration.

Firefighters attended the incident

A woman suffered from smoke inhalation following a kitchen fire in Elmswell.

East of England Ambulance Trust attended the scene

A woman was rescued from a vehicle which crashed in north Essex.

Heavy winds and rain hit Felixstowes seafront.

The Environment Agency has issued a series of flood alerts for the Suffolk and Essex coastline ahead of tonight’s high tide.

Will Pooley. Photo PA

Suffolk Ebola survivor Will Pooley is repaying his debt of gratitude by working for the London hospital that saved his life.

Police are dealing with instances of flooding on the county's roads today

Flooding is causing misery on the county’s roads today, with the A143 blocked and the A14 at Bury St Edmunds having to be temporarily closed.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

Ride a Fire Engine Day at Ipswich Transport Museum. Nathan Moon, three

Children had the chance to be a firefighter for the day at Ipswich Transport Museum.

B-17 Sally B at the Clacton Air Show. Picture: Simon Parker

Organisers of the Clacton Airshow have hit back at claims a plane’s smoke display was in “bad taste” after the Shoreham crash.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages