Corby soldier trains for duty in Afghanistan

Airtrooper Daniel Cunningham of Corby
Airtrooper Daniel Cunningham of Corby

A soldier from Corby is on his final training exercise before deploying to Afghanistan to maintain the Apache attack helicopter.

Airtrooper Daniel Cunningham of 654 Squadron, 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Wattisham in Suffolk, leaves for a four-month tour of Helmand Province this month (September).

The 25-year-old will be based at Camp Bastion and will be responsible for refuelling and rearming the Apache between missions.

Training for the tour started in March with the two-month long Exercise Crimson Eagle in California and Arizona, which provides similar weather and terrain to southern Afghanistan, and concluded with Exercise Pashtun Sword in Norfolk on August.

During the training Airtpr Cunningham has been working at a Forward Arming and Refuelling Point (FARP) - the military equivalent of a Formula 1 pit stop – to maintain the Apaches during live firing of their 30mm cannon.

The former Kingswood School pupil, who has been in the Army for six years and is preparing for his fourth tour of Afghanistan, said: “The training has again been very thorough and I’ve been able to pass on my experience from previous tours to the younger guys. It will be my third Christmas in Afghanistan and I’ll miss my family, but I’m with friends and it’s a really nice atmosphere in Camp Bastion.”

The Apache’s role in Afghanistan is to protect troops on the ground, other helicopters and land convoys and provide a near all-weather precision strike capability.