North East-based soldiers will receive their operational service medals following a six-month tour in Afghanistan at Albemarle Barracks in Harlow Hill on Thursday 11 October 2012

Seventy-two officers and soldiers from 176 (Abu Klea) Battery, 39 Regiment Royal Artillery (The Welsh Gunners) will parade in front of their friends and families to receive their operational service medals from Colonel Mark Thornhill, Commander 1st Artillery Brigade.

The Battery has been providing precision fire support for 12 (Mechanized) Brigade in Helmand Province since March 2012. Equipped with the hi-tech Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, the Gunners have been based throughout Southern Afghanistan. 176 Battery deployed on Operation Herrick 16, and have been replaced by soldiers from the Regiment’s 51 Battery, who have just deployed.

British troops are part of the 37-nation strong NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to establish the secure environment necessary for reconstruction and development to take place.