Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mortar Section Commander Cpl Stephen Hall - Fire Support Company 1 Royal Welsh

D Day - Op Moshtarak

AS we moved off the helicopter we were expecting the terrain to be boggy, but no-where near as bad as it was. As soon as we were off the helicopter we were up to our knees in mud. With all the weight we were carrying and the mud it was really hard going. As well as our standard kit and the mortar equipment I also had the radio so the total weight I was carrying was huge.

Once we were on the ground I had to immediately get the light motor set up in case we were contacted or the entry into our objective needed motor fire. I was soaking wet, very cold and covered in mud, but just kept on going to make sure everything was set up straight away and ready to go.

For my mortar section the worst bit was waiting for the initial assault section to go into the Compound. We were hoping for a “Green Knock” – when the lads go in without a shot fired – but we were sitting there in the dark, freezing and soaked to the skin, waiting for it to “Go Red” at any time. That is the nerve racking time for the boys.

As dawn started to break and we still weren’t in, this was the time I started to get really wary. The initial section and the Afghan soliers still hadn’t got into the compound and we were all out in the open and really exposed if the insurgents opened fire.

Luckily we weren’t contacted and we got in safely. Once into our objective the boys worked really hard to get everything set up in quick time. They were dog tired and operating on their reserves by this time, but they did well.

We have now established a secure Patrol Base and are getting on with our task of providing mortar fire support to the troops when they need it.

So far I think Operation Moshtarak seems to have gone pretty well for us and it does seem to be working, but we are just cracking on with our job now.”


  1. Thanks! Good to get the word from the sharp end. Stay safe.

  2. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 02/17/2010 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.