By MARCUS BARNES

In the thick of it: Cheryl Cole takes part in a demonstration by 42 Commando Royal Marines in Helmand Province conducting a compound clearance followed by a casualty evacuation via a Chinook helicopter

Cheryl Cole has admitted that she was frightened by the training she received before her trip to Afghanistan but she revealed that nothing would have stopped her traveling to the middle east to boost the morale of British troops.

The 28-year-old singer went on the visit to British troops last month and says she was prepared for the worst - including having a gun held to her head.

She braved the dangers of war to spend time with troops in the treacherous Helmand Province.


Up close and personal: The singer witnessed dramatic demonstrations during her time with British troops in Afghanistan


Trigger happy: Cheryl waits to be handed a rifle by one of the troops during her morale-boosting visit

Cheryl, who was followed by the Daily Mirror as part of their Pride Of Britain awards, revealed to the newspaper: 'Before I went out I was given war training which was pretty full-on and quite scary.

'They warn you about coping with all kinds of scary scenarios - things like having a gun put to your head.

'I was warned before I went out there that it could be dangerous. But nothing was going to stop me from going. And I'm just so glad I did.'


Left, right, left, right!: The former X Factor judge is put though her paces in a training session


Taking it in her stride: Cheryl said she'd been scared during pre-Afghanistan training but she ready for anything - even a gun to the head

The former X Factor judge took part in a demonstration by 42 Commando Royal Marines conducting a compound clearance followed by a casualty evacuation via a Chinook helicopter.

She said that she had never experienced so much dust in her life after the helicopter came in to extract the casualty.

Cheryl also spent time with members of the Afghan national army, as well as our own British troops


No messing around: She was placed in real-life situations during the demonstration - here a 'casualty' is tended to while they await help

She added: 'Afghanistan was an unbelievable experience. The whole trip was incredible. The men and women I met out there were inspirational, and so amazingly brave and dedicated.

'I've stayed in touch with some of the troops through Twitter and they've been sending nice messages. It was a privilege to see what goes on out there.'

Cheryl also revealed she had exchanged numbers with one soldier and was planning to call him.


What a carry on: Cheryl joins in as troops carry a 'casualty' to their pick up point

She said: 'Not only are the soldiers incredibly brave, a few were also incredibly cute. I came back with a phone number.

'He started chatting to me - I think it was for a dare - after I'd been 'shot' during a training exercise. It wasn't real ammunition but it was still terrifying.

'I think I'll call him this week and we'll see what happens. I'm sure he's not expecting me to ring but that's why it'll be funny - and that's why I'm going to do it.'


In the driving seat: Cheryl also took charge of a Jackal vehicle during the visit to Camp Bastion


Keeping watch: Cheryl crouches beside a soldier from 1 RIFLES during an exercise at Camp Bastion in which soldiers carried out a patrol, held a shura and dealt with a casualty


Safety first: The singer makes sure her helmet is securely attached to her head as she prepare to get involved in a demonstration with the troops


Fighting spirit: Cheryl met troops from 3 Commando Brigade who are serving as Task Force Helmand and personnel from Joint Force Support in Afghanistan who are currently deployed on Operation Herrick


Lifting spirits: Troops were buoyed by Cheryl's appearance - here she poses with members of the Afghan National Army

Cheryl added: 'I always had admiration for what the guys do out here, but seeing them here at work is awe inspiring.

'I'm delighted to be here to recognise all the hard work they do. Every one of them is a hero in my book.'

One solider said of Cheryl's trip: 'She's a stunner and having her out here has lifted morale.

She's probably the biggest star to visit. Fair play to her, it's a dangerous place to come.'


Happy to be here: The Girls Aloud star poses with members of 3 Commando Brigade's Brigade Reconnaissance Force, an elite unit of soldiers and Marines who are part of 30 Commando Royal Marines


CHERYL COLE: Footage of the star in Afghanistan


source : dailymail

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