LIFE is just about to get a whole lot more interesting for a team of volunteer soldiers from our area currently serving in Afghanistan.

The 25 from Bishop's Hull-based Territorial Army are preparing to go out on their first patrols in the Tali-ban stronghold of Helmand pro-vince.

Until now they have been confined to camp, where they have been undergoing training and carrying out guard duties.

They flew out in September on a six-month tour supporting regular troops.

Capt 'Barney' Barnes, of B Comp-any Somerset Light Infantry Rifle Volunteers, said: "They've settled into the force protection guarding the camp. But they've been training to go outside the camp patrolling and that is starting this week.

"They are taking on some of the tasks the Marines are doing and they are looking forward to it."

The routine until now has in-volved three days in sentry post, where they sleep, eat and guard the camp. They have also used some of their civilian skills such as vehicle mechanics to repair vehicles.

"The Marines are really pleased with them, but the patrols will make their life a little bit more exciting," said Capt Barnes.

"So far they haven't seen any terrorist incidents - there have been a couple of vehicle accidents and a couple of beatings carried out by locals on other locals working in the camp."

The part-time Somerset soldiers are having to put up with temperatures of 30degsC at 9am, and freezing nights.

One of them has already returned for a two-week RnR break before returning, with others due to follow in the lead up to Christmas.

Officers who remained at the Bi-shop's Hull base have organised a number of get-togethers for family members left at home.