Video: Bedale parade salutes bravery of RAF unit in Afghanistan

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They are often the unseen heroes of military operations, but yesterday their efforts were recognised with a parade through a North Yorkshire market town.

On a bright sunny day, personnel from 90 Signals Unit based at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton, paraded along Bedale’s High Street in recognition of their service in Afghanistan.

Personnel from RAF Leeming parade along the High Street in Bedale. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Personnel from RAF Leeming parade along the High Street in Bedale. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Among the crowds who lined the streets were schoolchildren, who waved Union flags, as the military marched passed by.

Yesterday’s event marked the end of Operation Herrick, the RAF’s longest continuously-serving unit in Afghanistan, and the transition into a unit reorganised to meet the needs of operations.

A spokeswoman for RAF Leeming claimed the parade had been a chance to recognise the work of the unit.

“Although often the unseen heroes of military operations, 90 Signals Unit delivered secure communications systems and Air Traffic Control capabilities in support of UK Forces deployed to Helmand, Camp Bastion, Kandahar Air Base and in Kabul,” the spokeswoman added.

Personnel from the tactical communications wing and force generation wing yesterday paraded along the High Street.

Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Canterbury honoured Britain’s Armed Forces who fought and died in action in Afghanistan.

He publicly thanked them during a service held in their memory.

The end of the 13-year conflict was marked by a ceremony of commemoration at St Paul’s Cathedral where Archbishop Justin Welby paid tribute to all those who served, leaving behind family, facing danger and suffering injury.

Almost 150,000 UK personnel were deployed to Afghanistan, and 453 British men and women died in the fight against the Taliban insurgency during the conflict.