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Teenage soldier set for Afghanistan

PUBLISHED: 11:40 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 25 August 2010

Gunner Will Richards, a member of 16 Battery, 26 Regiment Royal Artillery.  Image taken during Exercise FLYING RHINO 2010 in the Czech Republic during May 2010.

Gunner Will Richards, a member of 16 Battery, 26 Regiment Royal Artillery. Image taken during Exercise FLYING RHINO 2010 in the Czech Republic during May 2010.

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A 17-YEAR-OLD soldier says he is excited but a bit nervous at being deployed to Afghanistan next year.

A 17-YEAR-OLD soldier says he is "excited but a bit nervous" at being deployed to Afghanistan next year.

Gunner William Richards, 17, from Sidcup, part of 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, 16 battery, has been training in the Czech Republic in preparation for his deployment.

The former Hurstmere School student joined 2,000 British troops and soldiers from the Czech Republic between May 3 and May 22.

Mr Richards said: "Hopefully I should be going to Afghanistan next year. I'm excited but a bit nervous but that's what I signed up to do.

"It has always been an ambition of mine to join the Army, ever since I was a child."

During the exercise, Mr Richards was a signaller on a fire support team where he was involved in helping to identify targets for heavy artillery AS90 guns, capable of firing a shell over a distance of approximately 30km.

He said: "At this stage I am really learning my job, and beginning my training that will eventually take me to Afghanistan.

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