Alex all set for life on frontline

TEENAGER Alex Laboda is expecting to be called up for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan after completing the first stage of his Army training. The 17-year-old from Wisbech was one of 125 young soldiers to be visited by Defence Secretary Des Browne on December

TEENAGER Alex Laboda is expecting to be called up for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan after completing the first stage of his Army training.

The 17-year-old from Wisbech was one of 125 young soldiers to be visited by Defence Secretary Des Browne on December 20 after completing initial training at Bassingbourn Barrracks.

Mr Browne attended a passing out parade of recruits from the region.

He watched the parade and presented awards to the troops at the end of the 20-week course in front of a packed crowd of proud families and friends.


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The young soldiers will go on to the second phase of their training during which they will learn specialist skills.

Mr Laboda is set to join the Army Air Corps as an air trooper with the aim of becoming a door gunner on a Lynx helicopter.

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He will go to Middle Wallop, Hampshire next week and then to Leconfield, North Humberside, for further training.

The former Queen's School pupil said: "The training has been really hard but it has been really worthwhile and, hopefully, will set me up to work my way through the ranks.

"I am proud of what I have done but I couldn't have done it without my training instructors or my mates."

Mr Laboda, who will be 18 in June, is aware that he may be called up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan but said: "I am here to do a job for my country and if I am sent there I am happy to go."

His family, including mum Debbie and dad Paul, were there with his sister and grandparents watching the parade.

His father Paul said: "It has been a fantastic day. He has done really well and we are very proud of him. This is what he wants to do.

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