Father Danny Hernandez celebrated Christmas with the riflemen of 2 RIFLES Battle Group deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. The Battle Group is on a six month tour as part of Op SHADER, the UK’s commitment to the defeat of Da’esh.
This is Father Danny’s third sixth month tour of Iraq having spent time providing support to UK troops there in 2005 and 2010 also, latterly receiving a Mention in Dispatches for his bravery under fire, despite as a Chaplin never being armed.
It is very significant that Riflemen are deployed to this Biblical land where part of the Christmas story was set and where the three main monotheistic religions have their origin.
The Riflemen have created a Christmas spirit despite being far from home and loved ones and are looking forward to a day of relaxed fun, gift giving, reflection, and a chance to share some fellowship with fellow British soldiers and Coalition partners.
Father Danny provides Catholic cover for the 3,000-strong US led coalition with soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Spain.
Father Danny leaves the British Army regular service after 18 years in 2018.