Soldiers of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) were reunited with their families on Saturday 3 April, after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Yorkshire Regiment return home from Afghanistan 06 April 2010
The battalion, also known as 2 YORKS, carried out the important Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) role in Helmand Province, training and liaising with the Afghan National Army (ANA). The role is vital towards the long-term aim of handing over security within Afghanistan to Afghan security forces.
Lieutenant Colonel David Colthup, Commanding Officer 2 YORKS, said the tour had been "arduous yet rewarding". He said: "It was the battalion's third tour in Afghanistan in five years and will be remembered for the significant steps made towards a full partnership between the Afghan National Army and British troops."
"We have been extremely privileged to have such a close insight into the culture of Afghanistan through living and fighting alongside the ANA. The Afghan soldiers have been great allies in such an austere and demanding environment, they have often provided local eyes and ears, undoubtedly saving many of us from serious injury or death."
The OMLT is based on four 2 YORKS infantry companies who each work alongside a kandak (the Afghan word for a battalion) of about 500 soldiers. From the outset, one of the main tasks was to improve the standard of basic infantry skills for the soldiers fighting in Helmand.
Those already in the forward locations received training from small teams of British soldiers in the field, while the increasing number of new soldiers just out of basic training in Kabul needed specific training before taking their place in the battle for the first time.
In Camp Shorabak, near Camp Bastion, the OMLT set up a specialist training wing and increased Afghan training capacity by 350 per cent enabling 6,600 soldiers to be trained - 1,200 for Operation MOSHTARAK alone.
Training was designed to focus on five key areas for operating in Helmand: communications, marksmanship, skills to counter Improvised Explosive Devices, driver training and first aid.
2 YORKS operated throughout Helmand, including Babaji, Lashkar Gar, Sangin, Musa Qalah and Gersehk.