Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 09:56 UK

Lossiemouth troops deploy to Iraq

Troops boarding aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth
The troops will provide security for the RAF in Basra

Field troops from RAF Lossiemouth have been deployed to Iraq for a six-month detachment.

About 150 personnel from 5 Force Protection Wing left the base to travel to the Gulf on Monday.

Once in Basra, they will provide security for RAF air assets in the area.

The deployment came at the end of an intensive six-month pre-deployment training period, which culminated in a final battlefield exercise in June.

They were faced with scenarios including patrols and realistic first aid situations, with the casualties being played by real amputees.

I'm a bit apprehensive about what to expect, but it's harder for my family
LAC Matthew Fletcher

Flight Lieutenant Michael McGregor admitted that most of the troops would miss their families and were feeling slightly apprehensive as they set off.

But he added: "We are all looking forward to getting out there and doing the job we have been trained for."

Speaking as the wing prepared to board a Tristar aircraft to leave Lossiemouth, LAC Matthew Fletcher, who was deploying on operations for the first time, said: "I'm a bit apprehensive about what to expect, but it's harder for my family.

"There's lots of experience on the squadron, some of the guys have been out more times than they can count, so they will be able to help those of us who are going for the first time."

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