Soldiers Receive Operational Medals For Work In Somalia

The troops were in Somalia to train soldiers from the UN and the African Union Mission.

Four soldiers from 32 Engineer Regiment have received operational medals for their role on Operation Catan in Somalia.

The operation saw the Regiment train troops from the UN and the African Union Mission, known as Amisom, over a six-and-a-half-month tour. 

It was the first time anyone from 32 Engineer Regiment had been deployed to the country.

The operational medal.
Soldiers have received an operational medal for their role on Op Catan.

One recipient, Sergeant Nicholas Shinner, who described the tour as his "most interesting" deployment, said: "I was involved with Force Protection, upgrade of infrastructure around Mogadishu and I actually got to see these things get designed and installed during my time there.

"I had a tangible output on the tour." 

UN armoured vehicle in Somalia.
A UN armoured vehicle in Somalia.

Staff Sergeant Lee Barrett, who also received the award, said: "On the ground itself, (there is) a lot of interesting work out there.

"A lot of very low-level combat engineering work that needed being done for the UN, something the UN weren't ready to do themselves and they used to rely on us.

"Working with Amison as well was both challenging and very, very rewarding.

"You could take guys who had zero combat engineer knowledge and within a very short period of time, we could bring them up to a very acceptable level.

"Then seeing them deliver it in different areas as you move around Somalia... is quite a rewarding experience, really."

Soldiers being handed the award.
Their main role was to train troops from the UN and African Union Mission, known as Amisom.

2018 has been a busy year for the Catterick-based Regiment.

Next year, 32 soldiers from the Regiment are set to be deployed to Kenya, Belize and South Sudan.