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Video: Our boys get Canterbury Cathedral send off

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Video: Soldiers get their send off

by Adam

More than 500 soldiers from The
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders packed Canterbury Cathedral
today for a special service ahead of their latest tour to

Hundreds lined the city centre as
the troops from the 5th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland,
paraded from St Dunstan’s Street to the Christ Church Gate, led by
the pipes and drums.

The battalion, based at the city’s
Howe Barracks, will be deployed to Helmand Province in the coming
weeks for another second six-month tour of duty. The Argylls last
returned from the country at the end of 2008.

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders badge
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders badge

As part of 16
Air Assault Brigade, troops will be responsible for developing and
training the Afghan National Police in some of Helmand’s more urban

Commanding officer Lt Col Adam
Griffiths has already been out to the country twice this year to
see the challenges his men will face.

He said: "Helmand is a very
different place now than it was two years ago.

"In 2008, when I was second in
command of the battalion, we were in Musa Qaleh, in the north of
the province, a much more rural setting than where we’re going to
be now.

"This time we’ll be working in more
urban areas with the Afghan National Police, providing security and
freedom of manoeuvre for politicians and civilians.

"The idea is that my men will train
Afghan officers in the skills necessary for these operations, so
that they can do it for themselves in the long-term."

In his sermon, chaplain to the
battalion, Padre Stewart Mackay, called on the soldiers and their
families to remain strong willed in the difficult months to

He said: "They (the families) are
so proud of the efforts and sacrifices made by their loved

"You as members of this battalion
have not made the choice to walk on by when people need a helping

"Our efforts so far have helped
secure the Afghan people a better future for themselves.

"While some forces threaten to
jeopardise that, we must continue to fight them."

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