Suffolk troops head to war zones

The first wave of more than 800 Suffolk-based troops headed out to Afghanistan and Iraq yesterday as part of ongoing operations in the region.

The first wave of more than 800 Suffolk-based troops headed out to Afghanistan and Iraq yesterday as part of ongoing operations in the region.

Each wing of the United States Air Force has to provide airmen and equipment for duty in South west Asia throughout the year.

And this time around, RAF Lakenheath's 48th Fighter Wing has been chosen to head up the latest expeditionary force being dispatched to some of the world's most notorious trouble spots.

More than 130 personnel were deployed yesterday, which will be supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The 800 airmen taking part in the latest operation range from civil engineers, to pilots to aircraft maintainers and the deployment accounts for about 14pc of the base's entire operational staff.

Bosses yesterday told how troops and their families have spent the past few weeks training and emotionally preparing themselves for the latest operation.

Most Read

Major Beth Horine said: "The deployment involves about 800 airmen from across our wing and they will be heading out all over the globe though primarily to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of our ongoing war on terrorism.

"The tour is four months as part of the air and space expeditionary force (AEF) which comes around in cycles. The number of airmen this time around is more than normal because we are the lead for this AEF."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter