Proud families welcome their heroes home

NORTH Devon Sappers from 24 Commando Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers enjoyed an emotional reunion with their families on Tuesday night.

Around 70 members of the 250-plus unit have returned to their base at RMB Chivenor following a successful six-month tour of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

They were welcomed back by their families, friends and colleagues after playing a vital role spearheading the Taskforce Helmand Engineer Group, part of 3 Commando Brigade’s Operation Herrick 14.

One of the highlights was the construction of an enormous 45-metre long bridge over the Nahr-e Bughra canal. It is the longest bridge of its kind to have ever been built in Helmand Province.

The work took just ten days, with Sappers operating in temperatures well over 50 degrees Celsius, wearing helmets and body armour.

As well as enabling local people to move about more freely, the bridge has played a key role in disrupting insurgent activity in the area as insurgents used tunnels under the canal to avoid detection.

Click on the multimedia link on the top right of this page for more pictures from Tuesday night’s emotional homecoming.