A SOLDIER who helped lead a cavalry troop to storm a machine gun nest is to bring the gun home.

Sergeant Tony Richardson, 30, of Skelton in East Cleveland, was a lead member of the 60-strong troop which seized the Soviet-era weapon. It will be now presented to a regimental museum.

Sgt Richardson and his comrades from the elite Brigade Reconnaissance Force attacked a bomb-making factory in Helmand Province.

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The soldiers poured out of two Chinook helicopters and ran towards the factory in Upper Gereshk Valley. The enemy fled, abandoning the DShK 0.50 machine, nicknamed a Dushka, or “sweetheart” in Russian.

Sgt Richardson, who serves in the Norfolk based Light dragoons, led a section from B Squardron, Light Dragoons.

“They did not have time to man the weapon,” Sgt Richardson said. “That was lucky for us because it would have been in a good position to do serious damage to our helicopter on the way in.”

The Light Dragoons, based at Dereham in Norfolk, returned from a six-month tour of duty in October and the gun, which took three men to carry, will be presented to the regimental museum. The Dushka can fire bullets half-an-inch thick at 600 rounds-a-minute.