Gibraltarian Father Danny Hernandez, who has been serving with the Army for close to 18 years, is currently deployed on his third six-month tour in Iraq.
Serving with the riflemen of 2 RIFLES Battle Group in Iraq, Father Danny is currently deployed to provide pastoral and spiritual support to the 250-strong UK contingent of the anti-Da’esh coalition in Anbar Province, home to Da’esh’s final stronghold.
Father Danny has already spent time in the past and provided support to UK troops there in 2005 and again in 2010, and latterly receiving a Mention in Dispatches for his bravery under fire, despite as a chaplain never being armed.
In addition to his duties for UK personnel Father Danny provides Catholic cover for the 3,000-strong US led coalition with soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Spain.
He also visits other troops around Iraq with one unifying factor wherever he goes – the famous Father Danny chuckle bringing a smile to soldiers’ faces.
Deploying with the troops means that Father Danny is immediately available if required, and certainly forms bonds which last long after returning home.
Father Danny leaves the British Army regular service after 18 years next year and will return to join the clergy on the Rock.
A spokesman for 2 RIFLES Battle Group said that when he leaves Father Danny will be sorely missed.