14/02/2014 East Midlands Today


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to British coastlines, with winds of up to 80 mph. That's all from


This is East Midlands Today. I'm Anne Davies and tonight we've a


special programme marking the role of British troops in Afghanistan.


I'm at Kendrew Barracks in Rutland, with the families spending


Valentine's Day thousands of miles apart from their loved ones. And


here in southern Afghanistan, I am here with dozens of trips from the


East Midlands. Tonight we are out with the last British soldiers in


Helmand province. There is always the risk of IED is. Here in Rutland,


staying positive. How the families cope as the soldiers face of danger.


Plus, an Army packing up and heading home and the dad who has missed


Christmas. It is hard, it is hard because you miss them everyday.


Welcome to Cottesmore in Rutland, home of the Royal Anglians' Second


Battalion. Hundreds of troops from this barracks are spending the


winter in Southern Afghanistan. It's the largest deployment from the East


Midlands since the conflict began 12 years ago. And it involves two


regiments that recruit from towns and villages across Derbyshire,


Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. Tonight I'm with some of the


families who have an anxious time waiting for their husbands, sons and


fathers to return. We'll be hearing from them in a moment. But first


let's link`up with Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where our


Correspondent, Jeremy Ball and cameraman Adam Walker have spent


this week with soldiers from right across the East Midlands. Good


evening from camp Bastian. Camp Bastion is a vast British base


that's not much smaller than the city of Derby. It's a place where it


feels as though the army's already packing up and going home. But for


hundreds of troops from the East Midlands, this is a mission that's


far from over. And if you look at the map board, then... 8am at


Forward Operating Base Lashkar Gar, and we are kitted out for a safety


briefing that makes you sit up and listen. Should we come under any


small arms fire... All this for a short walk to the provincial police


headquarters where the Royal Anglians have been helping train the


local Afghan Uniformed Police. Now those local officers are keeping


this city relatively secure and open for business on their own, and soon


there won't be any British soldiers here to help. It's only 200 meters


between these two bases, but as you can see, we're very exposed here.


They're not taking any chances. Overnight they found two improvised


bombs or IEDs in this city, there is a threat from suicide bombers, too.


But some people wave at us and greet us. It is easy to get into a false


sense of security out there, people wonder why we are in full kit. There


is always the risk of IEDs, vehicle`borne IEDs etc, coming down


the main route, that we can't stop. Inside police HQ, a warrant officer


from Loughborough and a Corporal from Anstey live and work with the


Afghan forces. They are here to share intelligence about security


threats. It takes time to build up a rapport with them, but once you do


establish a rapport you can get a very good working relationship with


them. They have a very similar sense of humour to ourselves, they do


enjoy a good laugh. Back at the main base, they have been waking up to


this. Desert sand covered in frost. And a meal tent protected by what's


known as a guardian angel. And because the kitchens have just


closed down here, this is breakfast. Hot chocolate in a water bottle and


boil`in`the`bag ration packs. It is because most British Forward Bases


have been closed. And this one is well on the way to being pulled


down. And the Royal Anglians will be the last British soldiers in Lashkar


Gar. If you could imagine an iso`container size, there's been


about 700 iso`container sized equipment that's left so far.


Portacabins, iso`containers themselves, vehicles. From Lashkar


Gar to Camp Bastion is 20 mile journey, less than the distance


between Leicester and Nottingham. But you travel by helicopter to


avoid using roads, where insurgents can set up an ambush. Now those


insurgents are being targeted by local Afghan security forces who are


taking over combat operations from their British mentors. And


Derbyshire soldiers and from the ninth 12th Royal Lancers are


supporting them in hostile territory, coming under fire. A


bloke just appeared from nowhere and fired an RPG, which came over the


top of us. I have been under a few contacts, it is pretty scary, my


first one. Pretty much every mission has some success. We'd be finding


drugs, targeting their IED networks, finding IED components, and we have


had a lot of success. Now they are focusing on the mammoth task of


ending combat operations, they are scrapping a lot of equipment that


isn't cost`effective to send home. Then there is this machine that


sounds like a popcorn maker. It is recycling 20,000 bullets every week.


That noise you can hear is the sound of he explosive rounds being broken


up. The metal bullet casings come out of the machine like this, they


will be melted down and sold as scrap. More than 3,000 vehicles are


being deep cleaned, half have already been sent back to the UK. It


was engineers from Chilwell in Nottinghamshire who designed this


huge in camp Bastion and they are here to take it down. I was out here


in 2006 and helped build the camps that are still here today. It was


quite a surreal feeling going back to somewhere that you had lived for


that long. I stood in the position that might tent had actually been


and that's gone. And seeing all the land stripped out. It was very, very


strange. Strange feeling. Thousands of British troops have already left


Afghanistan and by the end of this year it will be another chapter in


Britain's military history. It is not until you travel out here that


you realise just how tough conditions are for the soldiers. At


night the desert sands are getting covered in ice. Bart offer, though,


is being away from home for so long and that is just as hard for their


families back in the East Midlands. It is indeed and I am with some of


those families in the East Midlands. Let me introduce you to Jonathan,


Keely and baby Ruby. If you are wondering why it is quiet, we are in


the soft play area. Good to be home? Yes, it is. How old was this


young lady the last thing you went? 24 hours old. What was it like


leaving her then? Quite horrible. And leaving the boys as well. You


have two boys being off`loaded, playing there. How old are they?


Your Mac to and three. Good to have them all? Amazing. Morice and Amber


have been reunited. We are really have `` really happy. It has been


three years. It will be a romantic occasion? A decent night. Is it good


to be back? Yes. What is it really like to be over there? Obviously


these guys know but it is one soldier's sorry.


It is hard. It is hard because you miss them every day. I miss the


cheeky little banter I get with my daughters. Christmas was a big one,


I was away for Christmas. Not having Dad around on Christmas day is


obviously a big thing for the girls.It was just hard knowing the


girls were going to open their presents without you being there. I


sort of employed my wife's parents to sort of assist in getting her big


present. So she didn't think she was going to get anything, but they


turned up on Christmas Day with a big present from me, which I am told


she burst into tears about. So, my wife's part in this, and I am sure


many wives' part in operation deployment is massive. They keep the


houses running, keep the kids going to school, and they've also got the


concerns of what we're doing at the time. You worry every day. Obviously


there may be something they might need your help with. Looking forward


to going home is definitely one of the big points, because it is a


massive moment. There will definitely be tears, there is always


tears when it comes to when you are leaving to go on tour, you know,


both sides trying to fight back the tears but you know there's going to


be tears. And when you get back there's almost tears of, like,


elation if you like, that it's all over and you can get almost back to


normal life. And here is certain theme and's wife, Joanne. And Chloe


and Tamsin. What was it like seeing that film? It was really nice. It


was nice to see where he has been living. Does it shock you? Yes, he


does not show the pictures or tell you what it is like, really. It was


interesting. I thought it was lovely as well, the importance he put on


your roll back home. It was quite nice to hear that, it is quite hard


being ( home wondering what they are doing. It is quite nice to hear it.


It has been a difficult time over there and you have had to sacrifice


a lot. In your mind, is it worth the sacrifice? Sundays, it is kind of


questionable, but yes, of course it is. You have hard these when you


think about how hard it is not when they come back and you see the look


on the girl 's face when he walks through the door, it is really nice.


It is one of those special moments. They know their daddy is away but


when he comes back it is great. It is Valentine's Day and you are on


your own. Have you had a letter? If fair few. We kind of made our own


Valentines cards for each other. They make daddy is for when he comes


home. Girls, was its nice to see daddy on TV? Yes. Are you looking


forward to him coming home? Yes. We have made cards for him. That is


fantastic. Thank you, we look forward to coming back.


The jury in the trial of a man accused of attempting to murder a


Sikh spiritual leader with an axe, has been discharged after failing to


reach a verdict. Harjit Singh Toor from Oadby in Leicestershire had


denied trying to kill His Holiness Sirisat Guru Uday Singh VI during a


religious ceremony at a Leicester temple last August. A decision will


be made within the next two weeks whether or not to hold a retrial. Mr


Toor has admitted causing grievous bodily harm. The East Midlands has


so far escaped the worst of the winter storms, but of course we


might get similar weather patterns in the future. Experts have warned


that people cannot just rely on outside organisations, but needs to


protect themselves from future floods.


With all the rain we have had recently this trickle should be a


torrent but the Hamilton estate in North West has been carefully


designed by the special drainage system that holds water back to stop


flooding downstream. We have done away with pipes, there are no


drainage pipes, it is all about getting the water into natural


drainage channels above ground, a mixture of grassland reedbeds so the


water trickles down slowly. Residents here pay towards


maintaining the drainage system, many claiming expenses or


organisations must take control of flood prevention just as workers


from British gypsum did here in East Nottinghamshire after floods in


2012. Government and emergency urbanisation is no longer have the


money or staff to provide all the help. As we have seen in the


south`east, Eagle are waiting for someone to turn up and very often


they do not have the staff numbers to do that. Individual resilience is


very important. The father of a young man who went


missing on a night out in Derby has made an emotional appeal for


information about his son. 20`year`old Nadish Kunwar was


spotted on BBC Radio Derby's CCTV after leaving friends at the Jurys


Inn hotel two weeks ago. Officers say he had been drinking heavily. He


hasn't been seen or heard from since.


There is absolutely nothing to suggest anything sinister has


happened, it is literally that. A missing person enquiry. And we have


come to a point with CCTV where we are desperately appealing to members


of the public to help us at this point. Every night we are searching


that area, the police have given some hints, it should be this area.


We are leafleting that area, putting posters on all the stops. Every


night, we can't, we don't have appetite, we can't sleep at night.


If somebody watching... Nottingham figure skating legends


Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean recreated their Gold medal`winning


Bolero dance last night. They took to the rink in Sarajevo, the city


where they won at the Winter Olympics 30 years ago. From there,


Mark Shardlow reports. Jayne Torvill And Christopher Dean!


For most of us it was a night of pure nostalgia. For others, it meant


much, much more. Thank you very much. We are so excited to be here


this evening. Sarajevo is right here, beating in my heart from 30


years ago. Local children performed in the show, their parents this age


when the Olympics were on, but who lost their childhood in the


desperate, brutal war. Amongst the crowds last night, the flower girls


who helped Torvill and Dean, like Elmer Krazni, just a tot in 1984,


now reunited with her childhood heroes who helped her through the


horrors. I think a lot of people during the bad moments remember


those Olympics, and remembered how positive this city once was, and


really tha tkept them going, I think, so Torvill and Dean coming


back means that we won this big battle. Life! So Bolero was and is


more than Olympic gold. And that's why last night was so poignant. For


people here, it reminds them of another time. It reminds them of


when the Olympics was here and all the fun that happened around that.


It's an Olympic city, and remember how London felt in 2012, and that's


what they were carrying. And then, the tragedy of the war. But the


city, the country is coming back. Anything that can be done to


highlight that, that's wonderful, and that's part of us being here as


well. The reception showed the appreciation. The perfect sixes of


Valentine's Day 1984 repeated last night.


And if you want to have another look at Torvill and Deans Bolero routine


there's a short video clip on the East Midlands Today Facebook page.


Now, though, it's time for a round`up of the day's sport ` here's


Colin Hazelden. Welcome to Bramall Lane, this is the


whole of Sheffield and football club but the reason I am here is this is


where forest are coming in the famous old competition, the FA Cup,


on Sunday. 5000 Forest fans will make the trek up the M1, they will


see their team at this stage of the competition for the first time in


nine years. If they win they will back themselves a quarterfinal. A


big game and Natalie Jackson has been in the camp today. It is just


over a year since manager Billy Davies returned to Nottingham


Forest. 12 months on and it is a cold, wet, windy Valentine's Day at


training. Be careful! The honeymoon period for Davies is definitely


over. , and! Seven of his best players are out injured in the gym


and on the treatment table. But just injuries, the way in which we are


picking up the injuries, every injury we have had has been, has


happened in a game situation. That value, Chris Cohen, Kelvin Wilson,


Eric Levi, David Vaughan, Henry Lansley, Dexter Blackstock. Injuries


he said the critics did not take into account. We are focused on this


current group of players who should have more points. Should have more


points even though they are missing. But seeing that conservatively. ?10


million worth of players? Even though we are the only 16 game


unbeaten run in the top six, five points from second place, fantastic


form at home. His team are two games away potentially from a Wembley


semifinal. Defensively two games away from the sack in football! I


prepare for the match `` I prepare for the next match. That is what I


encourage my staff and players to focus on. Preparing for the next


game. There are no shortage of reasons why this should have added


space. The manager here have so many years at Forest and it is not a


secret that he had current Forest manager Billy Davies are not the


greatest of friends. Add to that the fact he was sacked by Derby five


months ago and this seems like the ideal time for a catch up. We are


going to have hopefully 20,000 in there, between 20 and 20,000 would


be a great atmosphere. Whenever a deeply at Bramall Lane it is a great


atmosphere. `` whenever you play. We hope the scheme goes ahead, you can


CD covers on the pitch at Elliott on it was very badly waterlogged


underneath there. We'll keep you on that. It is a big weekend elsewhere,


not least in league one for Notts County. They are travelling to


Wolves. In league two Mansfield town are off to Oxford United, in the


Rugby Leicester Tigers are back at home welcoming Gloucester to Welford


Road. At the Winter Olympics it is a chance to take a look at the ace


dancers in the short programme. For me here at Sheffield United that is


just about it. We have our fingers crossed. If the forest can win they


will be one game away from a Wembley semifinal. That is your news and


sports letters goodbye from me. Let me have you back to an with her Army


families in Rutland. Welcome back to the Royal Anglians'


home base here in Rutland. They're among thousands of


`` little Oliver has been very good until this moment. We looked at him


in the moment. He is going back very soon, one of the thousands of men


and women who have served in Afghanistan. It has been some of the


toughest fighting that the British Army has experienced since World War


II. Many of them as we now have lost their lives. Jeremy Ball has been


falling for the last 12 years and the is giving his take on big


achievements. When you watch the troops preparing


their weapons it is easy to forget by the troops preparing their


weapons it is easy to forget why we ended up in the Desert so far away


from home. It was all because of the 911 attacks in New York, attacks


coordinated right here in Afghanistan. The response to those


attacks came within weeks. Soldiers from Leicestershire and Lincolnshire


when among the first to arrive here after Afghanistan's brutal Taliban


government was forced out of power. They found a capital city shattered


by decades of civil war. Out of these photos in Campbell, 12 years


ago, these children came up to shake hands. The Royal Anglian shoulders


did not even need to wear helmets. We found this school where girls


were being educated for the first time in years. Last autumn


Afghanistan finally had something to celebrate when the country won the


first international football tournament. For many, life has


improved year, so much so that millions of Afghan refugees have


come home. What is in it for us? I put that to the government minister


in charge of the Armed Forces. Our troops have been helping to protect


people back home from terrorist threats. They have been fighting to


help keep bars and our families safe. I believe ultimately it has


been successful. Interview in Helmand province solos from


Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were drawn into battle is on a daily


basis. This is what happened when I filmed the patrol with the messy in


Redmond five years ago. This exchange of fire was so routine the


crack jokes about how close the bullets came, but it was deadly


serious. It is the photos of troops that have been killed that brings


home the real cost of this conflict. These are 23 men from the East


Midlands, victims of a war that has claimed the lives of thousands of


civilians. Cuban hell was from Nottingham. There have been too many


people who have suffered massive sacrifices. `` Kieron Hill. People


suffering from post`dramatic stress. It is not worth it for me. I have


lost too much. But it has destroyed my life. `` post`traumatic stress.


The question now, what is Afghanistan 's future? Who will be


in charge after the elections next month? And will be sacrifices of so


many British troops take a lasting evidence here? `` make a lasting


difference. As we said, Captain Barranquilla is about to go. When do


you go? Approximately two weeks. If little Oliver gets to set up we


might have to stop. This is a snapshot, we take over 45 kilograms


of kit and weapons systems. I can hardly hold, that that is your body


armour. Body armour and plate carrier, we get plates issued. It


will be even heavier. What are the things that mean something that you


take? Things that I take, high`powered, cameras, every person


is different but for me it is the connection to everyone back home. As


that made a big difference for soldiers? You can skate and see


people back home. It makes a huge difference. The Internet provisions


are amazing, people speak and see one another all the time. How do you


prepare mentally for going? It is a job but there are dangers and you


know what they are. Our training has made is confident in the fact that


we know we can do the job. The last thing I was when I was single with


no family. Now it is different. You get yourself into a position where


you look forward to coming back and he wants to do the job the best of


your ability. We wish you all the luck. And U2, Lisa. Let's see what


the weather is doing. The weather has been nicer in


Afghanistan than here, we have been subjected to more wet and windy


weather today. Here is the latest instalment. It looks like it did


yesterday, another area of low pressure has been sweeping in from


the south. We stay under the influence of that tonight and


tomorrow but hang in there because by Sunday we get some high`pressure


that'll settle things down nicely. It is a game of two parts, and looks


as though Saturday will be our showery, posterity. By Sunday things


will be improving considerably. We will get some winter sunshine back.


Back to these years and now we have more rain to get through tonight.


The rain is showery but it is looking as though it will pick up


into the early hours of the morning. We will see heavier rain here and


there but we have not seen the peak of the winds it. They will pack up


as well. Gusts of around 50 or 60 males per hour. It could be higher


than that across eastern part and into Lincolnshire. At least we have


a mild evening, temperatures not following very far, 56 degrees. It


wet and windy start tomorrow, showery outbreaks of rain throughout


the day in the wind will stay strong. Eventually things will climb


down as he headed towards the end of the afternoon and the showers will


be fading away as well. Sunday is looking a much better day, much


drier and greater with some sunshine.


That's just about it from all of us here at Kendrew Barracks in Rutland.


I must say thank you to everyone who has organised that and do all of the


families who have been here all evening. The kids have been really


good. A big thank you to everyone here. It is the dramatic day of the


year, it is Valentine's Day. And it wouldn't be Valentine's Day


without a few special messages so we leave you tonight with just a few of


them sent from the Afghan desert. From all the East Midlands Today


team. Goodnight. A message to my wife, Gemma Evans, I am sorry I will


not be there on Valentine's Day but I will make it up to you when I get


back. I miss my fiance Anabelle Goodall and I will be glad to see


you very shortly. For my wife, Ely, I miss you and I love you and I look


forward to spoiling you. This is to sell my wife, happy Valentine's Day.


I wish I could be with you. `` this is to set up my wife. And should be


home. But I love you. A shout out to my wife. I miss you loads. I will


season. Happy Valentines to my lovely wife Samantha and to my kids.


Joe, sorry I am not there. I miss you loads and I love you what's as


well. Fully I will be back soon. On Sunday politics, the crisis in our


county council.


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