A FATHER and son from Gosport joined forces on the front line in Afghanistan.
Royal Navy Warrant Officer Dave Swann and his 24-year-old Royal Marine son, Lance Corporal Simon Swann, spent six months serving alongside one another in Lashkar Gah.
Dave has been managing building projects, while his son was on intelligence-gathering patrols.
‘It was brilliant to be living like that alongside each other again,’ said Dave.
‘It was a friendly, smiley face to see every morning and it was great to see Simon there getting on with his job.’
The pair recently returned home. ‘I couldn’t be any more proud,’ added Dave, 47.
‘It made it easier for the rest of the family to know we were out there together as well and when we both came back safely I think everyone was very relieved.’
Dave, who is married to wife Sal and has a daughter, Donna, 27, was deployed to Afghanistan in February where he worked in construction, equipment supply and procurement.
He said: ‘It was very interesting as we were mainly working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
‘We would move out into different districts in teams where we would provide the local contractors with the correct equipment and building materials for the reconstruction projects.’
Some of the projects he was involved in included helping a village rebuild an irrigation dyke and supplying materials for the building of a new prison which was constructed to UK standards.
He said: ‘Most of the people we met were friendly enough, but in my personal opinion there is a definite divide between those who want us out there to help with support and security and those who want to be left to get on with it themselves.
‘It is an interesting place – I enjoyed my time out there. It was different from previous deployment on ships. Of course it was definitely made all the better by having my son there as well.’
There are more than 2,100 Royal Marine and Royal Navy personnel deployed on Operation Herrick 14.
In total, 40 per cent of the 9,500 members of the armed forces based in Helmand province are in the navy.