Army major: 'We are ready to go'

AN ARMY Major said yesterday morale was “very high” among troops in the Kuwaiti desert as they steeled themselves for war.Speaking 40km from the Iraq border - and in the middle of a severe sand storm - Major Neil Sexton, usually based in Suffolk, said they were ready to go in to action at short notice.

By John Howard

AN ARMY Major said yesterday morale was “very high” among troops in the Kuwaiti desert as they steeled themselves for war.

Speaking 40km from the Iraq border - and in the middle of a severe sand storm - Major Neil Sexton, usually based in Suffolk, said they were ready to go in to action at short notice.

Major Sexton, spokesman for 16 Air Assault Brigade and the man responsible for co-ordinating its involvement in any action, said soldiers had been buoyed by parcels and correspondence from home.


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He said: “We are in the middle of a pretty severe sandstorm, which is challenging for people and equipment. The temperature is rising by about a degree a day and is up to about 28C now.

“We have had a demanding training programme for a few weeks and morale is very high. We are prepared at quite short notice to move, we are ready to go. Some of us have been here nearly two months now, training hard. We know now what we have got to do and we just want to get on with it.

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“We are very aware of the political situation, internationally and nationally, and we just hope if we are called upon to do this by the Government, and it looks like we may well be, we hope people in Suffolk are supporting their Wattisham organisations and the brigade as a whole from Colchester, swinging behind us.”

Major Sexton, who lives at Wattisham, near Stowmarket, added: “Public support is important to us. The boys are pretty confident, we are expected to do our job.

“People are thinking about their family and friends back home and do not want to be here longer than necessary. You can't over emphasis the importance of parcels and letters from home, they are coming in abundance and we want to say thank you for them.''

There are currently nearly 900 soldiers from 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, 7 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and other units from Wattisham Airfield, near Stowmarket, in the region, with 5,500 from the brigade as a whole, mostly from East Anglia.

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