Explosive Experts Head To Afghanistan

Two Royal Navy explosive experts have spoken of the challenge ahead as they prepare for deployment to Afghanistan to tackle deadly roadside bombs.

Lieutenant Commander Al Nekrews and Leading Diver Craig Waghorn will deploy today (Friday 27th January) for their mission to assist the Army in detecting and dismantling improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The pair have just completed their training at Horsea Island, Portsmouth, to become the navy's first high-threat IED operators.
They will be deployed for six months supported by two British Army personnel.

Lt Cdr Nekrews, 39, who will head the four-man team, said: "Up until now, the specialist high-threat operators in theatre have all been from the army's Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), so I am immensely proud to be the first from the Royal Navy to carry out that role.

"It will be a long way from the marine environment we are used to working in, so it's a hugely challenging role but I'm looking forward to getting out there and getting the job done."

He added: "The RLC high-threat operators are the best in the world so working alongside them will be a great experience."

LD Waghorn, 28, said: "The role of bomb disposal ultimately saves the lives of our serving personnel so it'll be good to be part of a team that can make a real difference.

"It's great for the navy's clearance diving branch and the Royal Navy as a whole that we now have this specialist high threat bomb disposal capability."