A SPALDING soldier has been awarded with a medal by the Duke of Edinburgh after a tough six-month tour of Afghanistan.
Craftsman Adam Metcalf (22), a former Spalding Grammar School student, was deployed to provide vital technical and engineering expertise in support of the NATO-led mission to prepare the Afghans to take over the security of their own country.
Prince Philip, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, presented Adam and other members of his battalion with their medals at a ceremony at barracks in northern Germany.
Adam, who joined the Army in 2008 and was among about 150 from his battalion deployed to Afghanistan from March to October this year, said: “It was a great honour to receive my medal from our Colonel-in-Chief.
“I am proud of what we all achieved in Afghanistan.
“It was a very good tour – I was based in patrol bases in Helmand dealing with warthogs, mastiffs and jackal vehicles.
“I also did a foot patrol where we would speak to locals and check vehicles.
“I also fixed a couple of vehicles for the Afghan police and did a couple of patrols with the Afghan national army.
“It was a busy tour and the biggest challenge was getting used to the hot weather.”
The Duke of Edinburgh addressed soldiers during the medal presentation ceremony, saying: “Everyone in the United Kingdom follows very closely events in Afghanistan and is very proud of what you have achieved out there.”
After the ceremony the Duke attended a specially arranged lunch with military personnel and their families before being shows some of the equipment used during the tour.
Now safely home from Afghanistan, Adam and the rest of the battalion will enjoy a period of well-earned post-tour leave followed by their Christmas break before returning to base to begin training for their next potential mission.