Soldier felt he was ‘part of something bigger’
Donning the blue beret of the United Nations was the proudest moment of one soldier’s eightyear army career.
Sapper Thad Longsworth, originally from Belize, was part of the initial deployment to Kinloss when 39 Engineer Regiment took over the base from the RAF five years ago.
Since then, he has been to Sierra Leone and Lithuania.
However, joining peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan has given him the biggest sense of pride. He said: “Not many soldiers get to wear the blue beret. It’s an honour.
“It was different working for the UN. We were working with different nations – Ethiopians, Indians, Chinese – and everything is on a different time scale. It felt like I was part of something bigger.”
Working in a confined 300-metresquare environment in intense heat for weeks at a time challenged the electrician.
The overseas deployment was the first time the 33-yearold soldier’s young son was old enough to notice him being away for an extended period.
The sapper would like to build a home for his family in Moray, but recognises he may have to move away as part of his duties.
He said: “I’ve been at Kinloss as long as the Army has – I came with the furniture. I love it here. I can go cycling or hillwalking and everything’s on my doorstep.”
HOME TURF: The Squadron has been on a UN Mission in South Sudan.