UK`s Minister for the Armed Forces Michael Penning paid tribute to British military personnel based in Cyprus during a visit he paid to the British Bases on the island this week, a press release issued by British Forces Cyprus (BFC) said.
Having spent time with Episkopi’s Resident Infantry Battalion, the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (1 LANCS) and after speaking to members of the Sovereign Base Area Administration, the SBA Police and personnel in RAF Akrotiri, the Defence Minister was clearly impressed with what he had seen, the press release noted.
It also said that the Minister was also given the opportunity to visit British troops serving in Nicosia as part of the UN’s peacekeeping mission. Speaking during his visit to BFC, he said: “It has been privilege and pleasure to visit military and civilian personnel working so hard here in Cyprus”.
“I have been struck by the breadth of important roles fulfilled by our people, from our High Readiness Infantry Battalion, to our peacekeepers on the green line and all those deployed on Op SHADER taking part in the fight against Daesh,” he noted.
Major Mark McLellan, 1 LANCS Second in Command said “it’s good to see the minister take an interest in the daily life here in Cyprus.”
And the battalion’s Regimental Sergeant Major, WO1 Thomas Whittingham, pointed to the Defence Minister’s military background – he joined the Grenadier Guards at a young age and served in Northern Ireland, Germany and Kenya – as a huge positive during the visit.
He said that “having been a soldier the minister understood what it is like for the Kingsmen, the challenges that they face and the good work they are doing on a daily basis.”