Christmas on tour in Afghanistan for troops
Troops from the former Staffordshire Regiment, including some from Shropshire, were today preparing to spend their last Christmas in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Just a handful of forward bases remain in Helmand and by the end of next year most British troops will pull out of the war-torn country.
In the Lashkar Gah Durai base, troops today posed in festive costume as they prepared for Christmas. They will mark the day with a series of events, including their own traditional Christmas lunch.
The base is home to some 250 personnel including Shropshire troops from Midland-based 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, which took in the former Staffordshire Regiment.
Lieutenant Stu Lowe, of 3 Mercian, said: "We will go out for the night from Christmas Eve through to Christmas morning so as many as possible get a night off."
A series of events has been organised, such as inter-platoon sports competitions including a memorial rugby match in memory of Warrant Officer Class 2 Warrior Sergeant Major Ian Fisher, from 3 Mercian, who was killed on November 5 when a car packed with explosives hit his Warrior armoured vehicle. The funeral for the Stoke-based soldier was held at Lichfield Cathedral earlier this year.
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