Troops honoured for courage in Afghanistan

A FORMER army commanding officer and a soldier who led his unit through ground littered with explosives are among troops being honoured for acts of courage while serving in ­Afghanistan.

Colonel Edward Fenton, who led the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots), through a tour of duty in the war-torn country receives a Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his “gallant leadership”.

The 43-year-old commanded the largest combined force in Helmand province during the six-month operation from October last year, with 1,500 troops including his own battalion.

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His plan in the Nad e-Ali district was said to have put the transition for security responsibility to the Afghan forces six months ahead of schedule.

The announcement of his award was made yesterday with the release of the latest operational honours list.

The citation said his “courageous leadership” inspired and reassured his soldiers.

Col Fenton, who recently handed over command of the Black Watch at their base at Fort George, Inverness, paid tribute to a “tremendous team effort”.

The father-of-one has now taken up a staff officer post in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Also being honoured is Sergeant Daniel Buist, who has been awarded a Mention in Despatches (MiD) for his “truly exceptional” courage.

Sgt Buist, 37, was patrolling with 3 Scots in November when they were attacked by machine gun fire and grenades.

He stood up to draw fire, while allowing the men to find better cover.

Colour Sergeant Ian Smith, 32, was also awarded an MiD for his actions which foiled an enemy ambush.

The soldier, from Cowdenbeath, Fife, was serving with the Black Watch when their patrol was attacked several times over a period of two hours.