Wiltshire

'Eye in the sky' regiment parades through Salisbury

32 Regiment Royal Artillery marching through Salisbury
Image caption It is the first time the regiment's 700 servicemen and women have been together since early 2003

Hundreds of people have lined the streets of Salisbury as soldiers from the 32 Regiment Royal Artillery took part in a homecoming parade.

Around 700 soldiers marched through the city at about 10:00 GMT.

The parade marked the end of almost nine years of continuous deployment of its batteries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt Col Craig Palmer said it was "a pivotal part of putting the feel-good factor into the regimental family".

The Larkhill-based regiment is known as the British Army's eye in the sky because its soldiers operate the Unmanned Air Systems (UAS).

Temporary respite

The Army now has another UAS unit deployed in Afghanistan, allowing 32 Regiment to have a temporary respite.

It is the first time the regiment's 700 servicemen and women have been together since early 2003.

Lt Col Palmer said the regiment "will have a brief pause before sending another battery to Afghanistan in May 2012".

"The regiment will try to catch its breath and concentrate on being a family regiment for the first time in almost nine years of continuous deployments," he said.

"We are very much looking forward to the chance of being a regiment and the homecoming parade through Salisbury, together with the service of thanksgiving, is a pivotal part of putting the feel-good factor into the regimental family."

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