Lowestoft soldier's key role
A SOLDIER from Lowestoft is playing a key role as part of the Allied forces in Afghanistan.Corporal Aran Slowey, 27, is working with the Afghan National Army (ANA) as part of a reconnaissance team in Helmand province in the south of the country.
A SOLDIER from Lowestoft is playing a key role as part of the Allied forces in Afghanistan.
Corporal Aran Slowey, 27, is working with the Afghan National Army (ANA) as part of a reconnaissance team in Helmand province in the south of the country.
As Troop Commander Horse in the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR), he is currently out and about with his troops in their Recce role. 'My job involves going around the area with the troop gathering intelligence to pass on to the other troops on the ground,' he said.
Cpl Slowey commands a Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scimitar - a highly versatile small tank- like armoured tracked vehicle and used by troops to go out on the ground to gather information.
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'I am in charge of the vehicle; both its occupants and the vehicle itself,' he explained. 'People presume it must be scary if you are out in the lead vehicle but at the end of the day if anything happens, the rest of the troop is there to support.'
As Troop Commander, he has the job of running the troop along with the Troop Leader.
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Asked whether he thought he was making a difference to the Afghan people, he said:
'I honestly think we are. We recently were patrolling through a corn field and the locals cooked corn on the cob for us and served it with fresh bread,' he said. 'They didn't have to do that for us but it was very welcome. All of the guys know the reasons why we are here, and we are doing the job to the best of our ability.'
Cpl Slowey cites working with the Afghan National Police (ANP) as the highlight of his tour so far:
'We have been working with the ANP. They are great and have a great attitude, we have a laugh with them and although we have an interpreter their English isn't too bad. They have an awesome sense of humour and I have a lot of respect for them, they are very brave.'
His life in Afghanistan is somewhat different from his previous ceremonial post with the Household Calvary.
'I was part of all the big state occasions, including Trooping of the Colour and the Queens' Birthday parade. It is a great privilege to be part of that,' he said.
It came as no surprise when he joined the Army. He comes from a military family:
'I spent most of my youth abroad in Germany and Hong Kong. My father was with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) for 25 years,' Cpl Slowey added. 'My young brother, Christian has just joined the Army; he's in the same regiment as me, which I am delighted about. He has been doing really well in training but I've just found out that he's broken his collar bone. I hope he gets better soon.'
'I am looking forward to going home to see my wife, Natasha and my little boy, Llewin. I cannot wait to see them and the rest of my family; Mum, Dad, Christian and my sister, Natalie.'