THE MARINES OF 45 Commando will deploy to Afghanistan knowing they have the full support of the Arbroath people, according to the commanding officer at RM Condor.
Most of the men from the unit have already travelled out to Nad-e-Ali in the war torn country. By the end of the month, the whole of the commando will be in Afghanistan.
It will be the fourth time the marines have been on a tour of duty in the country and Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee says they all feel immensely humbled and privileged by the support they have received leading up to their deployment from the Arbroath community.
He said: “We all feel the level of support we receive from the people in Arbroath and the wider Angus community and it is a very special relationship we have with them.
“We do our best to fulfil our part of the relationship and it is absolutely invaluable to know that they are behind us and we are eternally grateful to them.”
Since the summer of 2010, the Marines have been in rigorous training to prepare them for their time in Afghanistan with some members of the commando travelling out on their first tour of duty in the country.
And Lieutenant Colonel Lee added: “The men have done brilliantly all the way through training and I am immensely proud of how they have performed.
“I expect they have feelings of excitement and nervousness as they prepare to go out but there is an overwhelming sentiment of just wanting to get on with the job.”
Among the commando in Afghanistan will be a contingent of local troops, including Bombardier Stefan Spink and Marine Michael Goods.
The pair, who are both from Arbroath, are looking forward to the tour and putting their training into practice.
Marine Goods (22), who is a former High School pupil and undertaking his first deployment in Afghanistan, said: “I’m looking forward to it big time, my cousin and my best friend have both been out to Afghanistan so they have helped me try to understand what it will be like.
“My mum has been quite worried and we will be away from our families for about six or seven months, but I have tried to reassure them and I’ll be writing letters to keep in contact.”
While Bombardier Spink added: “It will be my third time in Afghanistan and this time we will be helping the Afghan army as a support or back up.
“But we are all totally ready for the deployment.”