Soldiers from 16 Regiment Royal Artillery will mark return home by parading through Oakham at 11am, today (Friday).

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SOLDIERS returning from Afghanistan will parade through Oakham today (Friday).

Members of 32 (Minden) Battery, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham who have spent the last six-months in Afghanistan, are to march through the streets of Oakham to mark their return home.

The people of Oakham and surrounding areas are invited to line the route from Northgate to Oakham Castle to watch more than 50 Army personnel march proudly through the town.

Accompanied by the Band of the Ghurkhas the parade will start in Northgate at 11am. It will march down Station Road, Melton Road and High Street to Oakham Castle where the soldiers will be awarded their Operation Herrick Campaign medals.

The medal parade will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard, the chairman of Rutland County Council Ed Baines and the mayor of Oakham Alf Dewis.

Battery Commander of 32 (Minden) Battery Major Chris James said: “I hope the people of Oakham will put aside half an hour to line the streets from Northgate to the castle to show their support to soldiers who live in their community.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support that the community has shown and continues to show the Regiment and very much appreciate Rutland County Council marking our return with this event.”

The 32 (Minden) Battery was responsible for the operation of the force protection systems at Camp Bastion and Kandahar.

The only rapier regiment in the British forces, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery provides low level air defence over the battlefield. It is armed with the Rapier system, a land-based air defence system, responsible for defending essential resources such as airfields and bases. The rapier system consists of a launcher with eight ready-to-fire missiles, a surveillance radar and tracker system.