Friday, May 29, 2009

LCpl Neil Strachan, 10 Platoon, 2 RIFLES, FOB Gibraltar, Helmand

This is my first tour as an NCO and naturally that comes with pressure. While ensuring my section is administrated on and off the ground I am constantly aware at some stage this tour I will need to step up as Section Commander. This is something that I don’t think any NCO Cadre can prepare you for.

On the ground I am at the back of the Section watching the blokes all the time making sure they are alert and concentrating all the time knowing full well how difficult it is with all their kit across unforgiving ground in the intense heat.

Since arriving in Afghanistan last month we have all found ourselves constantly on the go and the tempo of life within and outside FOB Gibraltar is ever increasing.

From a slow five days or so of RSOI in Camp Bastion we have really hit the ground running so to speak here in the FOB. With each patrol longer and more arduous than the last, the operations we conduct are always planned to outthink the Taliban and avoid the Afghan Sun. However sometimes we wonder whether the latter is worth it with temperatures reaching highs of 40+° and it will only get hotter.

Helicopters here are few and far between and the food is far from ideal with spam and plain noodles being the norm. Small treats out of parcels from loved ones and protein shakes are important to keep weight and maintain health.

Our living arrangements are tight and privacy is considered a luxury. 10 Platoon is a close one and everyone’s is working for each other day in, day out. This will be paramount in getting through this tour and everyone is anxious to see what the next five months have in store for 10 Platoon, C Coy.

LCpl Neil Strachan “Big Strachs”
2 Section 2ic
10 Platoon

1 comment:

  1. I am a proud British citizen married to an American soldier and live in Texas.
    I wanted to take this opportunity and tell you that i am so very proud of you all and appreciate everything that all of the British soldiers and servicemen do.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all!