MORE than 100 British Army soldiers have been praised for supporting the emergency services in Wales during the pandemic.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has extended thanks to the Armed Forces for assisting the Trust’s Covid-19 effort since April ,driving and decontaminating ambulance vehicles as part of Operation Rescript.

Among them are soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Rifles, 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh and 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment.

Yesterday the Trust presented commemorative plaques to 1st Battalion The Rifles at Chepstow’s Beachley Barracks as a thank you gesture.

Lee Brooks, Director of Operations, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the military and were very fortunate to have enlisted their support through the pandemic.

“Having them on board put us in the best possible position during what has been probably the most challenging period in our history.

“Their presence has been well received by colleagues and patients alike, and we were thrilled to visit the Barracks and present them with a token of our appreciation.”

Their support of the Welsh Ambulance Service, under what is known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA), is now drawing to a close.

Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE has been the military commander for Wales during the Covid-19 response.

He said: “The Armed Forces in Wales are hugely proud to have supported the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust in the collective fight against Covid-19.

“It has proved a very rewarding experience for our soldiers, who have learnt a huge amount from supporting the paramedics on over 6,000 call-outs.

“We have built an excellent working relationship with NHS Wales and have been truly humbled by their selfless commitment and dedication during such a difficult time.

“To have played a small part in this has been a real privilege.”