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Broughton soldier prepares for role in Helmand Province

A BROUGHTON soldier has begun a six-month deployment in Afghanistan where he will help provide logistical support to British Army personnel.

Lance Corporal Ian Darren Hughes, 23, who serves with 1 Logistics Support Regiment (1LSR), has flown out to Afghanistan, shortly after completing a series of last-minute preparations and checks at his barracks in Gutersloh, North Germany.

During the tour, 420 personnel from 1LSR will be spread out across Helmand Province to support the Germany-based 20th Armoured Brigade (the Iron Fist).

They will provide transport and communications expertise and work closely with the Afghan National Army to help prepare them to take over the security of their own country.

Former St David’s High School Saltney student Ian, who will be a vehicle commander, is also planning to marry his fiancé Kayleigh Elizabeth Stables from Preston, a Lance Corporal with the Royal Military Police, who is due to return from her own tour of Afghanistan in October.

He said: “I am looking forward to getting married when I return. I will see her when I go out there as our tours overlap by about a month.

“It has been hard planning the wedding. We want to get married in Preston, but we are still looking for a church.”

Ian’s role will include transporting vital supplies, equipment and fuel driving in convoys of sometimes more than 20 vehicles for days at a time.

He will also need to be ready to deal with constant enemy threats.

Ian, who joined the Army in 2007 and served in Iraq in 2008, added: “One of my roles will include Force Protection, which means I will have to help make sure the convoys are well protected from attacks.

“It will be a very interesting experience, and I will get my second operational medal. The nerves are starting to kick in but I want to get out there to do my job.

“I will be out there over Christmas and will miss my family and friends, and of course my fiancé. But the tour will hopefully go by quickly.”

Commanding officer for 1LSR, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Whiley, said: “Our training has been of excellent quality. The soldiers have worked incredibly hard and attained an excellent standard.

“They are now all itching to get on with the mission and to support the UK’s mission in Helmand.”