CROWDS lined the streets of a market town to celebrate the homecoming of an RAF squadron after protecting Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan, for seven months.

The 34 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment parade through Bedale was accompanied by the Band of the RAF College and a hawk jet fly past from 100 Squadron, also based at RAF Leeming.

The event marked the end of a tour during which the squadron undertook the task of protecting aircraft, airfields or personnel and equipment needed to deploy military aircraft.

The parade was followed by a Operational Service Medal presentation outside Bedale Hall by the Mayor of Bedale, Councillor Christine Mollard and the deputy lord lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Air Commodore Simon Bostock.

He said: “This was not an easy tour of duty, taking place during the drawdown of British forces in Afghanistan.

"You were the squadron tasked with the defence of Camp Bastion from attack so that aircraft could continue to operate in and out daily.

"During that time there was not a single breach of the perimeter and not a single round was fired within reach of aircraft.

"This was an exemplary team performance deserving of praise and gratitude.”