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Troops building stability in Iraq


Gunner Colin Rees greets a young Baswari in a market in Umm Qasr
Picture: Cpl Ian Forsyth RLC

A group of Territorial Army soldiers from Southampton, just down the road from me, are working closely with Iraqi authorities to help build peace and stability in the south of the country. Defence News reports that

The soldiers, from 457 Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers) in Southampton, are part of the 1 YORKS Battle Group, responsible for helping the Iraqis bring security in some of the key areas of Basrah Province, including the vital strategic port of Umm Qasr and the border crossings with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Basrah Province itself is geographically diverse, with three distinct areas; rural, desert and urban. To the soldiers of 457 Battery, who are based in Umm Qasr, improvised explosive devices, smuggling and hijacking of convoys are the main threats they face while out on patrol. Their daily activity is aimed at countering such threats, ensuring that local people can get on with their lives in peace.