A cavalryman from Lancaster is currently serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province supporting the Afghan National Army to clear a large area of the Gereshk district.
Lance Corporal Andy Edmondson (22) joined The King's Royal Hussars, known as the Northern cavalry regiment, six years ago and this is his first tour of Afghanistan.
Andy said: “We’re a tank regiment currently working in warthog armoured vehicles, and we’re stopping the insurgents from moving around freely, and we’re trying to collect the weapons and bombs that they’re hiding in the area.”
Andy has deployed to Helmand Province with a special charm tucked into his body armour, which has been handed down through generations of his family and serves as a reminder that he his following in his grandad's footsteps.
“I have my grandad’s dog tags from World War Two for good luck," said Andy.
“He was a tank commander with the Royal Dragoon Guards and he was a prisoner of war for six years. When I joined, I only wanted to be in a tank regiment.
"There are quite a few of us who come from the same area and even a few of us who went to the same school, so it’s good to be around people from your local area.
"I’ll always remember the crack we’ve had with the lads and the stuff we’ve been through because we’ve all been through it together. When something bad happens, you’ve just got to get on with it and do your job at the end of the day.”
Andy has been deployed on Operation “Maahi Buzurg” (meaning big fish in Dari) in Helmand Province, which has seen hundreds of soldiers from the Afghan National Army team up with policemen from the uniformed police, the local police and the civil order police with support from British, American and Danish troops.
They have all been working to clear a former insurgent stronghold to create a lasting and peaceful security for the population of the area.