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Carlisle soldier deploys to Iraq

Kingsman Tyrone Blakey (Photo Cpl Georgina Coupe)
Kingsman Tyrone Blakey (Photo Cpl Georgina Coupe)

A soldier from Carlisle is deploying to Iraq to help train Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against Daesh.

Kingsman Tyrone Blakey, of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, will be spending six months near Baghdad helping to provide protection to other personnel who are training Iraqi soldiers in countering improvised explosive devices, Infantry skills and combat first aid.

Tyrone, 20, and his colleagues completed preparations for the tour with a mission rehearsal exercise on the STANTA ranges in Norfolk (7-16 November). The troops practised scenarios they could face in theatre, such as providing security for lessons and recovering broken down vehicles.

The 2 LANCS troops are light Infantrymen, used to operating on foot, and so learning how to work from Foxhound patrol vehicles has been key preparation for the mission. The state-of-the-art vehicles will provide the best in protection whilst moving around Iraq.

Tyrone said: “I helped out in the flooding, but this will be my first overseas operation and I’m really looking forward to it. Using armoured vehicles and working in a force protection role is going to be very different to the bread and butter work we do as infantry.”

Tyrone, a former pupil at William Howard School in Brampton, has been in the Army for three years and been on exercises in Kenya and Belize.

2 LANCS recruits from across the North West of England and many of its soldiers spent last December providing assistance to civilian authorities dealing with the effects of flooding across Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

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