Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

First Afghan tour for Black Watch

Black Watch in Iraq
Soldiers from the Black Watch have previously served in Iraq

The Black Watch are to deploy to Afghanistan for the first time.

About 450 soldiers from 3 SCOTS Royal Regiment of Scotland will begin a six month tour of duty from next week.

The battalion, which is based at the historic Fort George barracks near Inverness, has previously seen action in Iraq.

It will be stationed in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. They will make patrols against the Taleban and assist with reconstruction projects.

Commanding Officer Lt Col Steven Cartwright said he was delighted the battalion had been given this latest opportunity to serve the country.

'Badly needed'

He said: "This will be the first time we have deployed together for a few years and we do so with the firm knowledge of the support of our families and our regiment.

"This will be a considerable challenge to the Battalion. Our goal is to secure the respect and trust of the Afghan nationals and we can only do that by providing them with the security that's badly needed.

Thirty Territorial Army soldiers from 52nd Lowland and 51st Highland, 6th and 7th Battalions The Royal Regiment of Scotland have been mobilised to join their regular counterparts on the tour.

The battalion moved back to Fort George in 2007 after eight years, during which they were stationed in Northern Ireland and Germany.

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