News story: Father and son in Afghanistan

Ministry of Defence said:
Captain Malcolm ‘Shed’ Marsden and his son, Sapper Robert Marsden, realised they would be deploying together in February this year after Spr Marsden joined his new unit, 22 Engineer Regiment, in Tidworth. Spr Marsden said:
I was still in basic training when I heard that my new unit, 22 Engineer Regiment, was going on tour at the end of March. As soon as I got to the unit I pushed to deploy with them.
Capt Marsden, from Minster, Isle of Sheppey, joined the Army in 1987 and after serving in Belize, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq he was commissioned in June 2011. During his career he has served in various roles including as a Combat Engineer and Diving Supervisor.
Spr Marsden decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in November 2011. However, it was not only his father’s guidance that prompted his decision to join. Spr Marsden said:
There was some influence from my dad but a lot of my friends were joining the Army too. I was attracted to the lifestyle and the opportunity to travel and meet new people.

Sapper Robert Marsden gives his dad a card "from your little soldier" [Picture: Sergeant Barry Pope RLC, Crown copyright]Both Capt Marsden and Spr Marsden play key roles in supporting troops based right across Helmand Province.
Capt Marsden, of 33 Engineer Regiment, is the Quartermaster for the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Search Task Force and makes sure the EOD teams across Helmand are kept fully supplied with vital kit and equipment. Capt Marsden said:
The EOD teams support Afghan forces by conducting operations to ensure key routes are clear of deadly improvised explosive devices.
It is essential they have fully operable kit otherwise lives could be endangered. My team and I work hard to ensure all of their kit is maintained to the highest possible standard.
Spr Marsden is an Engineer Logistics Specialist. He said:
It’s my job to supply forward-based engineer troops with stores and equipment they need to support engineering tasks in bases throughout Helmand.

Father and son, Captain Malcolm ‘Shed’ Marsden and Sapper Robert Marsden sharing a drink [Picture: Sergeant Barry Pope RLC, Crown copyright]With busy jobs, Capt Marsden and Spr Marsden don’t see as much of each other as they normally would. Capt Marsden said:
I do sometimes need to visit Robert’s unit for work purposes so that gives me a chance to keep an eye on him. I’m glad I’m here for his first tour.
When asked about his thoughts on being deployed at the same time as his son, Capt Marsden said:
It’s a real honour. My wife and I are very proud. It’s strange being able to go for coffee together or for Robert to borrow money off me! It is certainly an unusual thing to happen; something we can look back on together and tell the grandchildren!


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