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York brothers tell of their role in Afghanistan handover
BROTHERS in arms Jon and Matthew Bowley from York have told of their role in preparing to hand control of security in Afghanistan back to the Afghans.
Jon, 24, and Matthew, 27, are normally based at Claro Barracks, Ripon. Jon is currently working as part of a power response and repair section which includes repairing power in security bases and helping to prepare them for handover to the Afghan National Security Forces.
Matthew liaises with local contractors who are working on building a new Afghan Uniformed Police training facility in Lashkar Gar, Helmand province.
Jon said that having been on three different tours of Afghanistan, he had experienced different strategies and tactics.
“This time round is clearly different from previous tours which were focused on defeating the insurgency,” he said. “This time around the focus is on building up the capabilities of the ANSF and helping the people.”
Matthew said: “After working where I have, my opinion of the locals has changed. Although it has not been without its initial difficulties, once you find a topic you can expand upon, then bonds can be formed which makes the work a lot easier.
“I can now see that there are people that want Afghanistan to prosper.”
During their combined service of 17 years in the army, the brothers have served in several exercises throughout the UK and abroad as well as seven operational deployments between them, visiting countries including Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq, and they get to spend their rest and recuperation together.
Jon said: “We would like to express a note of gratitude to our mother, Sandra, and our entire family for all the help and support they have given us both through all of the deployments we have found ourselves on, during our careers.”