SOLDIERS from the Second and Fourth battalions of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment are to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence, has confirmed that soldiers from the North West are to be sent to serve in the country and have been in training for potential deployment for several months.

They are expected to travel to the war zone from late March and will serve in roles which will primarily see them mentoring soldiers of the Afghan National Army. The Second Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which recruits from across the North West, is based at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool.

It will provide around 500 regular soldiers for the operation.

The Fourth Battalion will also provide around 16 Territorial Army soldiers for the tour. It is expected that most of the soldiers will serve on operations for around six months.

The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment currently has soldiers from from its First Battalion serving in Afghanistan. After its mission is completed in the spring, the battallion will return to its home base in Catterick, North Yorkshire.