A WORCESTER soldier serving in Afghanistan has celebrated his Army Air Corps' 50th birthday while on operational duty.

Sergeant Rick Boys, who is based at Wattisham Suffolk and flies a Lynx helicopter, is second in command of a flight of four helicopters.

He and his fellow soldiers of the Army Air Corps, currently serving in Helmand Province, recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of their corps.

The Army Air Corps was formed on September 1, 1957. Its personnel and aircraft have seen service in every major conflict over the past 50 years, including Malaya, Northern Ireland, Falklands, the Balkans, Iraq, and most recently, Afghanistan Even though the flight missed the celebrations back home, Sgt Boys, from St Johns, Worcester, said he and the rest of the detachment were proud to be with the Squadron during the 50th anniversary.

The 42-year-old said said the Lynx, the Army's battlefield utility helicopter, was being used extensively in Afghanistan and was commonly flown at night providing a further challenge to the combat conditions found in Afghanistan.

"Here the flying is mostly done at night due to the extreme temperature, and tasking includes troop movement, recce, and convoy escort, the lynx also has a limited fire capability with a door gunner in the back with a general purpose machine gun," he said.

He added that the flight had been also been working closely with the former Worcester & Sherwood Foresters - now the Mercian Regiment - mostly in the notorious Helmand Province.