A Royal Marine from Plymouth has returned from Afghanistan where he spent six months living at Lashkar Gah base where his father, a Royal Navy sailor was also based.
Lance Corporal Simon Swann, 24, an intelligence gatherer with Plymouth-based 30 Commando, has returned from serving in Afghanistan.
Simon’s father, Warrant Officer Dave Swann, 47, worked as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team managing building projects in the local area.
David said: “It was brilliant to be living like that alongside each other again. It was a friendly, smiley face to see every morning and it was great to see Simon there getting on with his job, I couldn’t be any more proud. I think it made it easier for the rest of the family to know we were out there together as well and when we both came back safely I think everyone was very relieved.”
Dave, who is married to wife Sal and also has a daughter, Donna, 27, was deployed to Afghanistan in February where he worked in construction, equipment supply and procurement.
He said: “It was very interesting as we were mainly working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We would move out into different districts in teams where we would provide the local “contractors with the correct equipment and building materials for the reconstruction projects.
“Some of the projects we were involved included helping a village rebuild and irrigation dyke and also supplying materials for the building of a new prison which was erected to UK standards – quite a contrast to some of their other facilities out there.
“It is an interesting place – I enjoyed my time out there, it was very different from previous deployments on ships. Of course it was definitely made all the better by having my son there as well.”
There are more than 2,100 Royal Marine and Royal Navy personnel deployed on Operation Herrick 14 with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines as the lead element of Britain’s current operations in Afghanistan.
The objective is to prevent al Qaeda both using Afghanistan as a training base for terrorist operations in the UK and threatening legitimate government in Afghanistan. Currently over 40% of the 9,500 joint personnel serving in Helmand are members of the naval service. Units include: 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, 42 Commando RM, 45 Commando RM, 30 Information Exploitation Group RM, Commando Logistics Regiment RM and Commando Helicopter Force; from the fleet air arm 845, 846, 847, 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons are serving.