Norwich soldier is with the big guns

A former Thorpe St Andrew School pupil is now braving the Afghan battleground.

Twenty-year-old Sean Cook from Norwich has seen a fair bit of action since joining the 17 Battery 26 Regiment Royal Artillery.

The unit, based in Germany, was deployed to Helmand Province, the only place where British troops remain in Afghanistan in numbers, in September 2011. And the young man, barely out of his teens, has been proving he's got a keen eye in pressure situations.

For Mr Cook is responsible for the massive 105mm Light Gun, the main method of artillery support to troops deployed on the ground.

Sean said: 'My job is to lay the light gun onto a target and then fire the gun. I need to remain calm and not panic. Being quick is nearly always important; the speed at which the gun can fire subsequent rounds is nearly all down to how well I do my job. It is pretty exciting.'

Mr Cook joined the army in 2008 and this is his first operational tour of duty.

He says his parents, Jonathan and Jane, were high in his thoughts over the festive period. His tour of duty ends in April next year and he will be presented his operational medal in Birmingham on Armed Forces Day, June 30, 2012. Prime minister David Cameron has said operations in Afghanistan will cease by 2015.

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