Commander moves out to Iraq

LT COL Nigel Smith has departed Bassingbourn Barracks for Iraq - and he did it in style. Lt Col Smith, who has been commanding officer at the Army Training Regiment base for more than two years, was driven by vintage car to a waiting helicopter, which tra

LT COL Nigel Smith has departed Bassingbourn Barracks for Iraq - and he did it in style.

Lt Col Smith, who has been commanding officer at the Army Training Regiment base for more than two years, was driven by vintage car to a waiting helicopter, which transported him to Iraq.

He said that he has "thoroughly enjoyed" his time at Bassingbourn.

"Working with our young soldiers is a tremendous privilege, and has been a very rewarding experience. This regiment is all about people," he said.


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"We aim to equip them with life skills which they can use both in the army and in civilian life. It's about making them more mentally robust and building confidence, and it's great to see new recruits develop and grow as people."

Another aspect of the job which Lt Col Smith has particularly enjoyed is promoting the Army in the community.

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He said: "We've really tried to push several initiatives aimed at improving the relationship between "the Army and society" and the people of Royston and Bassingbourn have been very supportive.

"I like to think we've taken some positive steps to improve the image of the Army," he said.

The new commanding officer at Bassingbourn is Lt Col Simon Waddington.

Lt Col Smith's new job will involve training Iraqi troops on behalf of Nato.

"It's a similar kind of thing to what I've been doing at Bassingbourn, though obviously in different surroundings," he said.

"I'll be out there for six months, and I'm looking forward to working with a different set of young soldiers," he added.

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