A senior British Army officer who lives with his family in Pocklington will be in Afghanistan for the next 12 months helping to train the Army there in the fight against the Taliban.
Lt Col Iain Hallam, commanding officer of the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, flew out last Sunday and will become a mentor at the Afghanistan National Officer Academy.
The 48-year-old, whose wife, Anna, teaches English at Pocklington School, admits he will miss his family – there are also three daughters aged 20, 18 and 14 – and his rugby union where he is a referee having previously played the game at scrum half.
After he left school in Blackpool, Lancashire, he joined the Army as a Private in 1987 but soon became an officer after his basic training. He left the Army in 2006 and became a reservist. He was a school business manager for a few years but then became a full-time Army reservist for the last five years. Lt Col Hallam said: “My father was in the Army and it was something I always wanted to do. I have enjoyed life in the Army. It has been great and I have had a really exciting and varied life so it has been very interesting.”
Lt Col Hallam, who has lived in Pocklington for around seven years, has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and has done three tours of Iraq.
“Our role in Afghanistan will be to provide the Government and military with the support they need,” said Lt Col Hallam who will be part of a multi-national team involving British, Australian, Danish and New Zealand personnel.
He continued: “We will be supporting the Afghanistan Army to become an effective force in their own country and to provide leadership training for their officers.
“Making Afghanistan as safe as it can be will also have an effect on the security of our own country and other countries.”