Soldiers who thwarted a rocket attack on Camp Bastion have been rewarded for their courage and bravery at a ceremony at St George’s Barracks.
The soldiers from 20 Battery, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery, who returned from Afghanistan in April, received their Herrick campaign medals at the army base in North Luffenham on Thursday.
The soldiers used specialist intelligence-gathering equipment to provide surveillance and early warning of attacks.
Lieutenant James Brackley commanded the Automated Sense and Warn detachment responsible for the 24-hour operation of the force protection systems within and around the Camp Bastion complex that warned the troops of the February attack.
Lance Bombardier Frisby said: “We sounded the initial alarm and everyone then hit the deck. No one was injured.
“We didn’t have too many attacks, so it was quiet from that point of view, which is clearly a good thing. But it was good experience, I enjoyed it.”
The Battery was deployed on Operation Herrick 17 from September last year to April. In addition to their role in protecting Camp Bastion, the Battery was also involved in Battlespace Management and Base Intelligence, Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.
The Battle Management cell, commanded by the Battery Commander, Major Tim Osman, worked with a small team in Headquarters Task Force Helmand, 4th Mechanised Brigade, controlling and coordinating movement of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Forces operations across the province.
Lieutenant Mike Lewis commanded his troop in the Base Intelligence, Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance role, providing daily surveillance and security coverage of over 21 International Security Assistance Force locations and surrounding areas during their tour, utilising specialist surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment.
Their medals were presented by Air Commodore Jane Millington in recognition of the Regiment’s air defence role working alongside the RAF. Four soldiers from 16 Regiment REME Workshops who provided technical support to 20 Battery were also on parade.
Major Tim Osman said: “All the soldiers can be proud of the job they have done. After a short time of relaxation and family time we will now start preparing for our next deployment to the Falklands in September when we will return to our traditional role of air defence using the Rapier system.”
The 16 Regiment Royal Artillery is the only Rapier Regiment in the British forces, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery provides low level air defence over the battlefield.