PARATROOPERS are heading back to Afghanistan for the first time since the end of combat operations in the war-torn country.

B Company, 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment is deploying to Kabul as part of a battlefield group.

They will be protecting NATO military and civilian advisors working in government ministries as well as UK advisors based at the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy.

Major Dave Mans, Officer Commanding B Coy 3 PARA, said: “Our training with 1 RGR has been well-resourced and gone really well, and I’m confident that we’re as prepared as we could be for the challenges ahead. As paratroopers the guys are well trained and ready for operations, it’s just been a case of learning the nuances and adapting what we do to suit the situation in Kabul.

“It’s been fantastic to watch everyone come on during the training, we’ve all worked together to develop the skills and knowledge that we’ll need to make the right decisions when we’re in Afghanistan.”

Some 60 paratroopers are departing Merville Barracks this week for Kabul, with B Coy split into two groups who will each be deploying for four months.

3 PARA deployed on three tours of Helmand Province before the end of NATO combat operations in late 2014, with the focus for this mission being to enable the training of Afghan forces so they can secure their own country.