Applause and medals for Royal Marines returning from Afghanistan

Applause rang out across the Lympstone Marine camp when the Royal Marines Band marked their safe return from operations in Afghanistan with a medal presentation parade.

The band, which is based at the Lympstone Commando Training Centre, recently returned from a six-month tour of duty in Helmand Province as part of 3 Commando Brigade.

During their tour of duty, the band was spread across 3 Commando Brigade in various roles, including the Joint Force Medical Group, which made up part of the extensive medical team at Camp Bastion.

Captain Richard Harvey, who was the detachment commander, said returning to parade in front of their families had been ‘a real occasion’.

He said: “It’s been a difficult, but thoroughly rewarding, tour for everyone involved and all the marines on parade made a real contribution to a successful operation.”

Before the medals were presented, the band marched around the training camp where serving military and civilian staff applauded their efforts in Afghanistan.

The medal ceremony parade was followed by a private reception for the marines and their families.

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Sergeant Matt Weites, who was in charge of the Ambulance Response Team, while on duty in Afghanistan, said the day had been ‘great’.

He said: “It’s the culmination of a difficult period for all the families and it makes us appreciate them even more.”

Some 50 band members were on parade, watched by around 300 proud family and friends.

The guest of honour was the Royal Marines Band principal director of music, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace, Royal Marine.

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