Picture gallery: Norwich soldiers prepare for tour in Afghanistan

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 January 2012 | UPDATED: 10:30 29 January 2012

Troops with the Light Dragoons training near Thetford. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Troops with the Light Dragoons training near Thetford. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Two soldiers from the Norwich area are preparing for their first tours of duty in Afghanistan.

The Norfolk-based soldiers have been training near Thetford ahead of a possible return to Afghanistan later in the year.

Troops with the Light Dragoons have been preparing for deployment with an intensive series of exercises designed to hone the vital skills they will need to survive on the ground. The Dragoons’ B Squadron has been training for a potential tour of duty since September and spent the week at the Army’s Stanford Training Area (Stanta) before heading to Wales for live fire training. Among the soldiers was 20-year-old trooper James Avis, from Thorpe St Andrew, pictured below left, who joined up almost immediately on leaving school. “I definitely feel ready to go out to Afghanistan, that’s what I joined up to do,” he said.

Trooper Luke Hubbard, 22, from Heartsease, pictured below right, is also preparing to for his first deployment to Afghanistan. He joined the Army a year after leaving Heartsease High School and said he had always wanted to go out there. “I’ll miss my family and friends the most,” he added.

B Squadron is currently working as the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) and will be the Army’s “eye and ears” in Afghanistan. The Light Dragoons were deployed to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban in 2006, 2007 and 2009, assisting with the creation and training of the Afghan army.

The 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, is expecting a ministerial announcement soon about a potential deployment which could throw them back into the ongoing conflict within months.

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