ALDERSHOT-based Garrison Radio has launched a new service to soldiers in the Gulf, so family and friends left behind can pass messages to their loved ones.

Call, text and e-mail centres have been opened allowing a two-way service so soldiers will be able to send messages back to the UK.

The messages will be received by the Garrison Radio network and can be sent on to other radio stations.

The service is unique, as it will allow anybody 24-hour access in either direction, with Garrison Radio acting as a hub for radio stations at home and abroad.

This is in addition to its established practice of request gathering in Britain’s four biggest garrisons where it broadcasts.

The radio station will also personally deliver any e-mails to households in its broadcast garrisons if a family does not have e-mail access.

Station manager Richard Wyeth said: “We definitely feel it’s a very important service we’re providing for the army community.

“You can leave messages for loved ones to say you’re missing them, or to wish them luck or to request a dedication. Soldiers will also be able to reply.

“People can ring us here or even pop in and we will take the message for them.

“We can record people and send their voice messages out there, so it’s very easy and with different options available.”

A number of Aldershot troops have been deployed, forming part of the 26,000 British ground force committed to the Gulf.

Soldiers from 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers were the last to leave RAF Brize Norton as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade in February.

Earlier in the month, members of 7 Parachute Regt, RHA were flown to Kuwait and 10 Transport Regt, along with 4 General Support Medical Regiment and 101 Dog Unit, Royal Army Veterinary Corps have all flown to the region as part of 102 Logistics Brigade.

So whether it’s a special message to someone in particular or a goodwill message to all of the troops out there, Garrison Radio is able to help.

A dedicated Gulf page can be found online with a message board, which can be used by soldiers, as internet access grows across the Gulf.

It can also be used by family and friends at home at www.garrisonradio.com.

Gulf message line: 01748 872 444, and military 94731 2444.

Gulf text line: 07769 572230.

Gulf message e-mail: gulfrequests@garrisonradio.com

Aldershot Garrison Radio studio: 01252 347424.