Hitchin soldier in new Afghanistan role

AN ARMY infantry officer from Hitchin has returned to Afghanistan for the second time in his career, but in a completely different role- working with the media.

Captain Simon Poulter, 31, a member of the Royal Anglian regiment, was in Mazar e Sharif in 2002 and has also toured Iraq and Northern Ireland where he served traditional infantry officer roles.

He is now based at Lashkar Gah in Helmand province for his job as a media operations officer, where he will be for six months before returning to his base in Colchester, Essex.

“I’m enjoying the tour so far as I’m working with a great team,” said the ex-Kingshott Preparatory School pupil.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve done previously, and the area I’m in is completely different to where I was last time.

“The job is really dynamic, no single day is the same and I’m given a lot of freedom to tackle issues as they arise.”

The role sees Cpt Poulter liaising with Afghan politicians and forces, military colleagues and journalists to respond to queries from the international media.

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He also collects experiences of those from the front line and passes this information back to the media in the UK.

“Media and public interest in British operations in Afghanistan are huge,” said Cpt Poulter.

“I love the human interest element- communicating how servicemen really feel about being on tour and the jobs they are doing.”

Cpt Poulter’s parents Rex and Debby and 12-year-old brother Richard still live in Hitchin and his wife, Sarah, lives in Newcastle.

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