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Last of the Sailor's Queen

Funeral pictures - centre pages

'The precision, smartness and general bearing of personnel from all three Services who took part... were impeccable'

- Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of Defence Staff

News MAY 2002 £1.20

Inside the Type 22 frigate

Free cutaway this month MOUNTAIN • ![••••••• ^H •• •

Afghanistan: Marines go into action at 10,000ft


ROYAL Marines of 45 Commando have returned to their base after a successful seek and destroy mission in the mountains of Afghanistan.

in fighting. The five-day Operation Ptarmigan by 3 Commando Brigade was designed to hunt down and destroy any pockets of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the mountains of south-east Afghanistan, and to prevent them from using the

Although they spotted possible enemy forces, the troops were never engaged

Afghanistan, said: "All the boys are hack at Bagram now. and there will now he an operational pause. "They are hack on fresh rations,

area to launch further attacks. Lt Col Paul Harradine, speak- to

ing Navy News from

we are very pleased. "They never came into contact

with Al Qacda, hut found lots of evidence of them having been there, and some sightings." He said the Taliban and Al

they can make telephone calls home - there is some down time, and they are cleaning equipment and preparing for their next deployment. "The operation went very well -

Royals, who worked with elements of the American and Afghan mili- tary, had destroyed a number of caves and bunkers containing quantities of arms and ammuni- tion - weapons dumps which the terrorists would have returned to at some point in the future, and which have now been rendered useless. "The destruction of these is a

US and Afghan forces fought troops loyal to Osama bin Laden. Lt Col Harradine said the

step forward," added Lt Col Harradine. The Royals, who were support-

ed by guns of 7 Battery, a brigade reconnaissance force and other elements, suffered no casualties in the operation beyond a single sprained ankle. Conditions were said to be very inhospitable - the Commando was operating at heights of 10.000ft and above, with frequent storms and heavy snowfall, sub-zero tem- peratures at night, and unforgiv- ing, rocky terrain underfoot. it is exactly the type of scenario

for which the Royals have trained over many years, in locations such as the mountains of Norway.

Qacda had been back to the sites since Operation Anaconda, when

j Turn to page 12

• Royal Marine Commandos from 45 Commando man an observation post in the mountains of Afghanistan during Operation Ptarmigan


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