Ready To Deploy: 2 YORKS Prepare To Leave For Afghanistan

2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment are preparing to leave North Yorkshire to head on a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

A drumhead service has been held in North Yorkshire ahead of the departure of 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.

2 YORKS are going to Afghanistan for a six-month tour.

The Yorkshire Regiment’s Fijian choir sang the soldiers, during the service which is traditionally held to bless the troops ahead of deployment.

"This is a really important day," said Lieutenant Colonel Ben Westcott.

"We rarely come together as a unit, and even more rarely come together with our families.

"To be able to do that here, in Richmond Castle, is a fantastic opportunity."

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The Fijian singing choir of 2 Yorks sang to the troops ahead of their deployment.

It is the unit's second deployment to Kabul in two years. 

During the send-off event, the regiment's commanding officer paid tribute to the friends and family behind each of his soldiers.

"Everyone standing here is fundamental to our success in operations," said Lt Col Ben Westcott.

"That togetherness extends beyond those who stand here in green, in the commitments and sacrifice of families of soldiers, too," he added.

"Without our families behind us and the foundations that they provide, we cannot build the courage to march forward to the challenges of operations with confidence."

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This will be the second Afghan tour for 2 Yorks in two years.

While many soldiers know exactly what to expect, others only just finished their infantry training six months prior to being sent to Afghanistan.

For some of the younger soldiers, everything feels new.

Privates Callum Ramsay, Kane Bottrill and Steven Goff all agreed it is hard to describe how they feel ahead of their first deployment to Afghanistan. 

"It just does not feel real," said Pte Bottrill.

"I am very proud to be [leaving for Afghanistan]," added Pte Goff.

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The Commanding Officer paid tribute to the friends and family of his soldiers.

In his speech, Lt Col Westcott reminded the soldiers that  "there can be no better challenge than supporting... peace" in Afghanistan.

The regimental colours are traditionally carried into battle and will be taken with them to Kabul and displayed there from now until they return in May 2020.

The family and friends of the 370 soldiers who are deploying will no doubt eagerly await that day.