A SOLDIER from Whitley Bay has started a six-month deployment in Afghanistan.
Corporal Stephen Rook, 38, serves with 1 Logistics Support Regiment and will be helping ensure Britain’s front-line forces’ transport, ammunition and communication needs are met.
He flew out to Afghanistan last week from his barracks in Gutersloh in Germany.
During the tour, he, along with 420 other members of his regiment, will be spread out across Helmand Province in support of the Germany-based 20th Armoured Brigade.
He will also be working with the Afghan National Army to help prepare it to take over the security of the country.
The former Monkseaton High School pupil said beforehand: “I feel all right about going to Afghanistan.
“I am not worried, maybe a little anxious, but I want to go out there and get started.
“We have all been training for over a year for this.
“I will be a section commander, taking supplies, ammunition and stores, and will also be responsible for looking after some of the junior soldiers.”
His role will include transporting supplies, equipment and fuel for days at a time to forward operating bases and other military positions.
Cpl Rook joined the Army in 1994 and has also served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Iraq.
He added: “I want to make sure all my guys are well looked after to the best of my ability, but I will miss my family and hope to come back for Christmas.
“Our mission is a good thing. Afghanistan needs our help, and the people there are on the whole happy with us being there.”