Devon commandos get Afghanistan medals

Devon-based troops who have returned from six months in Afghanistan have been given their campaign medals.

24 Commando Engineer Regiment was in Afghanistan as part of the 3 Commando Brigade-led Operation Herrick.

The medal ceremony for 150 commandos on their first tour of Afghanistan took place at the regiment's base, RMB Chivenor.

The regiment was then presented with the Freedom of Braunton before marching through the north Devon village.

Braunton parish councillor Marguerite Shapland said: "It's an incredibly important day.

"We've got military families and personnel here all the time, their children are in the schools and the families are part of our communities."

'Remarkable job'

Lt Joe Robinson, 26, troop commander for Condor Troop 59 Commando, grew up just down the road from RMB Chivenor in Barnstaple and returned from his first tour of Afghanistan just a week ago.

He said: "It was quite an experience, from being desk bound to being on the front line engaging with the enemy.

"As an engineer troop commander I achieved everything I wanted to achieve and most importantly I brought all the blokes, all my men, back in one piece, and that's all you really want as a commander.

"They did a truly remarkable job and it was a privilege to command them."

During 24 Commando's tour in Afghanistan the regiment constructed a 45m (147ft) long bridge over the Nahr-e Bughra canal - one of the largest structures constructed by the Army since World War II.

The work took just 10 days, with troops operating in temperatures well over 50C.

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