TROOPS from the Wrexham area will form part of the last brigade to deploy to Afghanistan.
Private Daniel Williams, 24, from Chirk, Lance Corporal Daniel Griffiths, 25, from Penycae, and L/Cpl Chris Dallimore, 22, from the Maelor, are going through their final preparations before being deployed in the field.
The trio, part of the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry), will deploy to Operation Herrick 20, the last tour of British troops, next month.
Two of the soldiers are returning to the country for a second tour of duty – L/Cpl Griffiths having been shot the first time he was deployed in 2011. He was knocked to his feet when a bullet hit his body armour but he was otherwise unhurt.
He said: “We were out in the open and it was just one of those things that can happen.
“I took some time out to get my composure back but I wanted to get straight back into it.
“I was told to ring my mother just to make sure she knew I was okay.
“Obviously she was worried but I reassured her I was fine.
“Even though this tour is expected to be quieter, we’ve trained even harder for all kinds of scenarios. If anything happens then we’ll be ready to deal with it.”
L/Cpl Dallimore, who was also deployed in 2011, helped the bomb team to disable 45 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He said: “Given the fact this is the last tour for British troops, the expectation is that it will be quieter but I don’t think there’ll be any middle ground. It could be quiet or it could be busy. The important thing is training has prepared us.”
For Pte Williams, it will be his first tour since joining the army in 2011.
He said: “There’s a bit of a military link in my family because my dad was in the Royal Logistic Corps.
“This will be my last chance to get out there. It’s an historic event so you want to be part of it.”
Lieutenant Colonel William Davies, commanding officer of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, said: “We’ll be part of the last deployment of UK troops to Helmand. It will be very different to those we’ve been on before.
“The focus will be on getting all people and equipment back to the UK safely and in good order.
“We’re really proud to be the last Welsh regiment in Helmand.”