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thedrifter
01-31-07, 02:04 PM
Marine Macca scoops medal

A ROYAL Marine from Burnley has been given a medal for his efforts for serving in the front-line with the Royal Marines on Operation Herrick 5, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

Corporal James McDonald, 27, known as Macca, is based at Camp Bastion with 42 Commando Royal Marines. The unit is part of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, who are commanding operations in the southern Afghanistan Province of Helmand, and are usually based at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth Devon.

Corporal McDonald is responsible for the liaison between the Danish reconnaissance force and 42 Commando battle group. He is the operational signals link from the field to the joint headquarters back in Camp Bastion.

Promoted to corporal in 2005, he is the signals liaison officer in 42 Commando Royal Marines and is working with the Danish reconnaissance force who are also stationed in Camp Bastion. This co-operation is part of the UN mandated International Security Assistance Force.

He said: "Working with the Danish has been a different experience to working with the Royal Marines. It has been good to see how another country works differently in this type of environment.

"The Danes are a much larger formation and use different tactics compared to what I am usually accustomed to. Working with the Danish has been a great and challenging experience for me".

He said the environment was one of extremes and added: "The scenery in Afghanistan is awesome. I have managed to travel in the north of Helmand Province where it is mountainous.

"We have worked in very cold temperatures in the winter and very hot conditions in the summer.

"It is extremely busy and we have numerous contacts with the Taliban around the area."

Corporal McDonald was presented with his International Security Assistance Force medal by Major Christian Moegensoen, the Danish commander.

He has previously been presented with the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan for his service in 2001.

A former pupil of Ivy Bank High School, Burnley, Corporal McDonald joined the Royal Marines in 1998 as a Royal Marine. He has been in Afghanistan since September 2005 and this is his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.

He first served here in 2001 as part of Operation Oracle and later as a machine gunner in 40 Commando Royal Marines, which are based in Taunton, Devon.

4:51pm today


By Nick Evans

Ellie