A large group of soldiers stand in front of and in the windows of a building

Fighting an invisible war — Corporal James Browne

James Browne has been deployed to Canada, Estonia and Denmark but has recently been tasked with a very different type of operation — supporting Covid testing in Liverpool.

Soldiers stand in formation in front of armoured vehicles
James with other personnel from the Yorkshire Regiment.

“My job is to make sure that my team’s ready to be deployed at any moment and keep all our skill sets sharpened. We work in a team of 8, and being the section commander I’ve got my own small team. You get really close with your own section and you get to learn off each other as well.”

In November, his team answered the call to assist mass testing across the city of Liverpool. Working at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre, he administered COVID-19 tests to the public and gathered the results.

A soldier in protective equipment stands in front of a cubicle
James stands ready to conduct Covid testing in Liverpool

“Obviously we were away from our families , which was quite hard for some of the lads, but everyone’s been really warm and welcoming.

“The main thing for me is that we actually made some sort of difference within the country. Everything’s gone to a bit of a standstill with everybody in lockdown but in the latest figures that have come out, Liverpool has now gone into Tier 2. So that means that some people here can now go and see their family over Christmas and that’s down to what we’ve been doing here.

A soldier in formal uniform wearing a poppy
Corporal James Browne

“It’s a different type of war we’re fighting now with this virus. It’s obviously an invisible one, which makes it all the more important.”

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here 👇

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