Making Somalia a better place has a direct impact on the UK and there’s a lot of good work being done to that end.

Commander Dain Thorne

“What the mission is doing is worthwhile,” said Cdr Barton, a marine engineer who was on the design team for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, and has completed operational tours of duty in both Iraq and Helmand, Afghanistan.

Cdr Thorne, an air engineer officer, added:“Making Somalia a better place has a direct impact on the UK and there’s a lot of good work being done to that end. It is a derelict place, but it is rebuilding.”

The two officers have now completed their six months in Somalia on Operation Modest.

Cdr Barton said: “I never felt the nervousness, the same tenseness that I felt while I was in Helmand. In Helmand you were always half-expecting it – but not in Mogadishu.”

So far thanks to the European mission around 3,000 Somali troops have been trained – around a quarter of the country’s total strength.

Up to the end of last year, those troops were trained in Uganda, but from 2014 all will receive their instruction in their native land.