Suffolk soldiers get Iraq call
CHEMICAL weapons specialists from Suffolk are set to receive call-out papers for a tour of duty in war-torn Iraq.Between 100 and 150 regular troops from the Joint CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Regiment from RAF Honington, in west Suffolk, will be joined by 600 reservists from around the country who will be sent out to the Middle East later this year.
CHEMICAL weapons specialists from Suffolk are set to receive call-out papers for a tour of duty in war-torn Iraq.
Between 100 and 150 regular troops from the Joint CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Regiment from RAF Honington, in west Suffolk, will be joined by 600 reservists from around the country who will be sent out to the Middle East later this year.
The troop movement will form part of a major changeover of forces in Iraq and was announced yesterday by the Defence Secretary Des Browne.
There are 7,100 soldiers currently stationed in Iraq and Mr Browne yesterday confirmed the numbers would remain the same following the changeover in November.
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The company from the Joint CBRN Regiment, a specialist unit made up of 1st Royal Tank Regiment and 27 Squadron RAF Regiment whose role includes detecting chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, are set to serve for six or seven months although some are expected to carry out shorter tours, Mr Browne said.
The company will join reservists in providing force protection, logistics, medical support and would reinforce individual units.
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In his written ministerial statement Mr Browne added: “I emphasise that the force package we deploy in October/November will depend on the conditions on the ground, in particular the security situation in the south and progress on handover of security responsibility to the Iraqi Civil Authorities over the
months to come.
“I very much hope that positive progress in these areas will enable adjustments to the force package we deploy, and we will continue to keep UK force levels in Iraq under review.”
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence last night said between 100 and 150 members of the RAF Honington-based Joint CBRM Regiment would be sent out to Iraq. She said: “They will be performing an infantry role rather than their usual CBRM role.”
The CBRN Regiment was formed in 1998 and had the radiological part of its name added just last year. As well as the regiment's recent service in Iraq and Afghanistan, it also participated in the foot and mouth crisis that swept across the UK in 2001.