LCpl Davies, 128 Field Coy with CSLR LAD, Op Herrick 17
Having gone through some initial training with 1(CS) Battalion REME, I joined 12 LSR LAD, Abingdon in August 2012. Immediately the LAD made me feel welcome. The three week FTX that followed my arrival at the Regiment, gave me a good opportunity to get to know everyone. It also helped me to understand what would be expected of the LAD on tour. The Regiment left Abingdon late on Tuesday 18th September and arrived in Camp Bastion on the morning of Thursday 20th.
The first week in CampBastion passed by in a bit of a whirlwind. On the first day, we were all allocated our accommodation and essential items of kit. I was able to sort out admin and prepare for the following day.
On Friday I started the 5 day RSOI package. RSOI is mandatory for everyone deploying in Afghanistan. This package ensures that everyone is current and up to date on the potentially life saving ‘skills and drills’. The five days allows for acclimatisation and I quickly became acquainted with the complete PPE; Osprey, helmet, gloves and eye protection.
Even though the temperature is dropping in Afghanistan; for those arriving in mid September there is no escaping the fact that this place is hot by comparison to the UK. The first couple of weeks here were blue skies and blazing sunshine. Whilst the temperature had crept back up to 30 degrees + during the day, already the mornings have a crisp chill to them. I have also experienced a couple of rain showers, both lasting all of about 30 seconds. There will be plenty more of that to come, I have been told!
So after completing the RSOI package and Equipment Support RSOI, I had been here a week already. With no time to spare, the LAD quickly got on with the handover/takeover from 4 CSLR LAD, Op Herrick 16. It didn’t take long to fall into a very basic work ‘routine’. In addition, I started to adapt to life in CampBastion; “home” for the next 6 months. Tents and ISO containers become the scenery. Carrying Osprey to and from work everyday has soon become the ‘norm’. Mobile phones have been replaced by the IPod Touch. No one leaves home without their rifle. Gunfire and explosions are regular background noise.
The cookhouse on Bastion 2 has excellent food, so much variety. The NAAFI has all the essentials and the American PX at CampLeatherneck is full of life’s little luxuries. My spare time in the evenings is taken up by general admin, going to the gym or writing blueys. ‘Op Massive’ has already started for some of the LAD, many of them spending their evenings in the CV suite or the weights room. For those not so self disciplined, we have three sessions of PT a week; CV and spinning class.
So as the first month in Afghanistan draws to a close, the ripping in/out process almost at an end, our main effort is the LAD workshop. As a unit we maintain all of the RLC vehicles for the CSLR, keeping them operationally fit.
Look forward to the next installment For November 2012 ~ “Working for the LAD and our primary role”.
For more information on 128 Field Company please visit: http://www.serfca.org/en-us/reservists/ta/128fieldcompanyreme.aspx