A BRAVE York airman is risking his life to help rebuild war-torn Iraq.

RAF Regiment Gunner Simon Milner, 21, of Huntington, is on a four-month tour of the country, which is still being rocked by suicide bomb attacks as it struggles to reconstruct itself following the conflict.

Simon, a former Huntington School pupil, is part of a multi-national force based in Basra which is undertaking airfield patrols, vehicle searches and confidence checks in the local community.

The force is based at Basra Air Station helping with the regeneration of the region in south-east Iraq.

Simon said the work would not suit everyone, but he found it challenging and rewarding.

He said: "I am currently enjoying my way of life travelling the world with the RAF Regiment.

"I have recently returned from jungle training in Belize and I'm now on operations in Basra helping the Iraqi people rebuild their lives.

"It is a job with an acquired taste, but I am now living the dream."

Simon joined the RAF three years ago and is now part of No. 2 RAF Force Protection (FP) Wing, from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Updated: 10:23 Thursday, March 24, 2005