Penarth soldier is leading from the front in Afghanistan
4:30pm Thursday 16th August 2012 in News
A WELSH Guardsman from Penarth is leading from the front on his first tour in Afghanistan.
Simon Powell, 20, is part of the Police Advisory Team operating in Helmand Province, training the Afghan Police.
His role within the team is “Front Man” – a high pressure position leading patrols using Vallon mine detection equipment.
Speaking about the role, Simon said: “The Improvised Explosive Device threat is here - but we generally have good freedom of movement and I trust my training and the equipment.”
The Police Advisory Teams are small units of 12-14 soldiers who provide training and developmental support to a number of police locations in their designated area.
Speaking of the challenge of training a foreign police force, Simon said: “It is satisfying when you see that what we are teaching is sinking in.
“Some checkpoints are better than others - it often depends on the checkpoint commanders - but overall things are improving.”
And he spoke about the realities of balancing a home life with Army life on tour.
“I have a beautiful five-year-old daughter called Ellie Bounds, and a very supportive girlfriend Jess Walker, and they are always on my mind,” he said.
“I am currently trying to buy a house and the money I will save from being here will be a great help towards a deposit, although the current mortgage situation makes it so hard.”
Simon’s mum Julie and dad Collin live in Penarth, and his brother Luke lives in Bristol.
“I can’t wait to see them and have a great party when I am back!” he added.