Third Afghan tour of duty for Scottish commando unit
By Angus Howarth
ABOUT 500 Scottish-based Marines will spearhead
The men of 45 Commando, from HMS Condor, in Arbroath, will be sent as part of 3 Commando Brigade to replace the paratroopers and two Scots infantry battalions of 16 Air Assault Brigade fighting the Taleban.
This will be the third operational tour of
About 400 Marines from 45 Commando also served as reinforcements for the invasion of
In effect, however, the Arbroath-based Marines have carried out four testing combat operations in six years to relieve pressure on the overstretched and under-strength British Army.
The Arctic warfare specialist unit has lost four men in
Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, announced yesterday that the new force for
It will also include the first of additional units announced by Mr Browne last month, which will see the British fighting force in the country rise from 7,800 to over 8,000 by next spring.
A total of 110 soldiers have now lost their lives in
L-Cpl Johnson, who was engaged, was attending to a report of an attack on a civilian aircraft when an anti-personnel mine detonated, killing him instantly.
He was the 13th casualty in
The Royal Marines lost a man in January last year despite a spectacular rescue effort, when Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, from
His colleagues realised he was missing and four soldiers were strapped to the small side-wings of two Apache helicopters and flown in to the danger area under covering fire, but they found that he had been killed.
Meanwhile, Nato yesterday confirmed one of its soldiers was killed in a roadside bomb blast in eastern
45 COMMANDO Royal Marines is a battalion-sized unit – numbering several hundred men – within 3 Commando Brigade.
Based at RM Condor, in Arbroath, they specialise in cold-weather operations but are capable of operating in tropical jungles or the desert.
First deployed for the Normandy Invasion in 1944, the unit also served in the Falklands war,
More recently, they took part in the 2003 invasion of
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Morris took over command in December 2007.
He joined the Royal Marines in 1987 and has served in