Video: Prince Charles visits Suffolk to award Afghanistan medals at Wattisham Airfield

Prince Charles at Wattisham Airfield

Prince Charles at Wattisham Airfield - Credit: Archant

PRINCE Charles has flown to a Suffolk army base to award medals to soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan.

The Prince of Wales touched down at Wattisham Airfield, near Stowmarket and spent about 90 minutes with soldiers and their families.

He was awarding Operational Service Medals to about 40 Army Air Corps soldiers. The majority are from Wattisham-based 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.

The troops returned from Afghanistan in January after a four-month tour where they operated Apache attack helicopters.

Reservists from Bury St Edmunds-based 6 Regiment Army Air Corps, who deployed as ground crew with 662 Sqn, also received medals.

Prince Harry, who is based at Wattisham, is currently on a seven-day visit to USA.

Major Simon Beattie received the Colonel in Chief trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding officer in the Army Air Corps each year.

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Lance Corporal Matt Hardy, who is a reservist and Newmarket stud farmer, has met Prince Charles several times.

He said: “It’s a privilege as many people I know would like to meet him. It’s one of those things money can’t buy.”

Lance Corporal Shelley Turner-Dockery, who is part of 6 Regiment and was with her husband Matthew and four children, has met Prince Charles before at Sandringham.

She said: “He remembered us and spoke to us about Crimson Eagle which is pre-deployment training in Arizona. We loaded Harry’s first hell fire missile and rockets.”

Captain Thomas Brunwin, of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, received a medal. He said it was the ‘icing on the cake’ having married his wife Jo at the weekend at Bildeston Church.