Battlegroup C Company 1 Rifles return to Gloucestershire

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles have arrived back in the UK following a six-month tour in Afghanistan.

The soldiers met their families at Beachley Barracks in Chepstow, Gloucestershire.

The troops mainly operated in the Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan.

Five soldiers were killed during the tour. The Company will receive the Freedom of Chepstow and operational service medals on 17 November.

Capt Sam Branston, of 1st Battalion The Rifles, said: "Through thick and thin, the Riflemen have maintained an extraordinary fighting spirit.

"They return as men, considerably more appreciative of the comforts and security of home."

C Company, made up of between 80 and 100 Riflemen, served as part of Taskforce Helmand with a mission to bring stability and security to the South area of Helmand Province.

Commanding officer, Lt Col James de Labilliere, said: "There is no lack of moral and physical courage in this young generation of Riflemen.

"The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are stepping up to the plate, in fact they have taken the lead for security in some places in our area already.

"The governance and development structures are maturing, insurgent activity levels are drawing down and the Afghan enthusiasm for transfer is growing."

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