Battalion makes tracks for Afghanistan deployment

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A BATTALION of soldiers has been deployed from its Edinburgh base for a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

Around 450 soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Rifles will be part of 12 Mechanised Brigade, which is commanding Afghan security forces.

The troops – part of the military unit of the International Security Assistance Force – will take on roles including training Task Force Helmand.

The Rifles, based at Redford Barracks, were last in Afghanistan in 2010 and although most of the soldiers are heading out on their second tour, for some it is their first time in a war zone.

Rifleman John Adamson, 23, from Birmingham, who is heading to Helmand for the first time, said: “I’m not nervous, just excited. This is what we are trained to do, although part of me is unsure of what to expect.

“My cousin was a paratrooper and did two tours, so I’m pleased to be another member of my family fighting for my country.”