AN EASTBOURNE soldier has an important role in his first operational tour in Afghanistan, repairing and maintaining the vehicles on which his fellow troops rely.
Craftsman Adam Tehan, 24, is a member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but is deployed in Helmand province as part of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), Corps of Royal Engineers.
In the UK, he is based at the unit’s HQ in Woodbridge.
Adam was raised in Eastbourne and attended Ratton School, Park College and Sussex Downs College. He began his involvement with the Army by joining his local Territorial Army Unit, 56 Signal Squadron, but enrolled as a full-time soldier in 2008.
In general, British troops in Afghanistan are responsible for driving out the insurgency and improving security for the local population in their area, while at the same time training up their Afghan counterparts who are increasingly taking over responsibility for maintaining security in their own country.
But Adam’s role is more specific. As a vehicle mechanic, he is responsible for the inspection, diagnosis and repair of unserviceable vehicles as well as routine maintenance.
Frequently deployed to hostile, frontline areas to carry out repairs at the scene, the vehicles he looks after are those his Royal Engineers colleagues use to carry out their work.
Adam said, “Combat engineers are responsible for building patrol bases and checkpoints to provide other soldiers with protection, as well as a massive variety of other construction, demolition and engineering tasks.
“But to do that work they need serviceable equipment, and that’s where I come in.
“I like being able to work on a variety of different equipment and vehicles. I also like flying forward to different areas, seeing more of the country and facing more challenging tasks.
“I enjoy being here in Afghanistan, experiencing what I would not be able to anywhere else. I get a lot of responsibility working independently all over the province to carry out repairs on vehicles.”
He is currently based in Woodbridge, Suffolk, the home of his regiment, and lives with wife Charlene and daughter Lilly-May.
In his spare time he enjoys working on and using his motorbike and Land Rover.