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Tidworth soldier receives honour
10:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A TIDWORTH soldier who saved lives by denying the enemy weapons and drugs money has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
Major Adam Foden, of The Queen’s Royal Lancers, commanded the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) - a specialist unit made up of soldiers drawn from 14 different cap badges. He personally led around 30 anti-insurgency operations in Afghanistan.
Maj Foden, from Loughborough, Leicestershire, led the BRF during a very busy period when it searched at least 850 compounds, uncovered about 95 weapons stores, stopped more than 113 roadside bombings and detained 21 insurgents.
The team also seized a tonne of explosives and 4.5 tonnes of drugs with a street value of more than £30 million.
The 35-year-old said: “All of us in the unit felt that a successful operation was one which removed the most insurgent equipment we could from central Helmand in order to keep the population as safe as possible.
“Success might not even mean seeing the enemy, but it would mean having a big effect on their ability to use weapons and create roadside bombs.”
He said a lot of their finds were heavily defended, but added: “We all felt enormous pride in these seizures. You could sense, through talking to Afghans, the tangible effect of that work on their day-to-day lives; that’s all they were after – a peaceful life so they could get on with their livelihood.”
On one of these occasions, Maj Foden led a 150-strong joint Afghan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter operation in Koshkawa. He remained with the lead troop of soldiers throughout despite coming under accurate fire himself.
The operation led to the seizure of weapons and ammunition which undoubtedly saved lives.
His citation read: “Foden has delivered operational and tactical success on demanding operations and under unrelenting tempo and pressure. His drive, command and inspirational leadership mark him out as gifted.”
Maj Foden said: “The performance of the whole team was first rate and I don’t feel that it’s right to single me out. This award is a reflection of their work. I was hugely fortunate to command such an impressive organisation.
“My family are thrilled for me, but the award is also recognition for what they have had to go through, particularly my wife; for the amount of time I was away before the tour and then for the duration of the tour itself.”
Maj Foden was commissioned in 2000 and has also served in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.
The former Loughborough Grammar School pupil now lives in Tidworth with his wife Kate.
The Distinguished Service Order is awarded for highly successful command and leadership during active operations.
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