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Soldiers from Hampshire Tigers oversee Afghanistan school opening
FOR the last seven months Hampshire troops have been working in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
And in that time they have played their part in improving security in Afghanistan. So much so that now the soldiers have overseen the opening of a new school in the region.
Soldiers from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR), nicknamed The Tigers, are set to return home when they finish their tour next month.
Regular attack When the 450 troops first arrived in Nahr-e Saraj, Major Ross Noott, in command of B Company, told how they had come under regular attack from the insurgents on patrol.
The company have taken part in patrols and established two new checkpoints, significantly reducing the insurgency in the area. The opening of the Khorgajat village school, which teaches about 140 children, had been attempted on previous tours but could not be achieved until now because of the security situation.
B Company have also worked closely with the Afghan National Security Forces, carrying out a number of helicopter raids.
They have been recruiting villagers into the community police force and have uncovered 30 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Major Noott, 35, from Southampton, described the change as “truly remarkable”.
He said: “The early months of the tour were characterised by daily gun battles with the insurgents and heavy seeding of IEDs. The local population had no access to education or government services such as healthcare, and local politicians were unable to connect with the people due to the pervading insurgent threat,” he added.
“As important as the battles we have won have been the relationships we have formed with local people, convincing them that a better future exists for them and their children.”