Monday, March 29, 2010

Lieutenant Mark Lewis,10 Platoon Commander, D Company, 1 Royal Welsh

I am a platoon commander for D company and am currently based with company headquarters in a compound in Loy Aderha. We have been there since the start of Operation Moshtarak.

Our first two weeks here consisted of meeting and greeting the locals we met on patrols and explaining that we are in the area in order to provide enduring security as part of combined force operations. With us in Loy Adehra we have 1 Company from 1/3/201 Kandak of the Afghan National Army (ANA) with their French mentors and 50 Afghan National Police (ANP).

We also held shuras at our compound led by the ANA. This work paid off with people gaining the confidence to tend their fields and attend at the twice weekly bazaar; we had over 1,000 people turn up at the last bazaar.

However, during this last week insurgent activity has started to pick up. Firstly we had a failed IED strike on one of the main routes through the village. Shortly after this we conducted patrols around the area and discovered an IED in one of the fields near our compound.

We followed this up with a compound search and discovered IED component parts that matched that of the device. From this we, along with the ANA, were then able to detain one of the insurgents and further questioning and tests confirmed he had been handling explosives. During questioning I was able to ascertain that he was involved with the IEDs and we were able to send him back to Bastion to be questioned further.

Yesterday, we were on a routine patrol through a local village and my vehicle was involved in an IED strike. A pressure pad IED with approximately 50 kg of explosive lifted the Mastiff across the narrow street. The Mastiff did what it was designed to do and took the brunt of the explosion.

I was top cover at the time and blown out of the turret but stopped from landing in the nearby field by the cam net. Once the dust settled I could hear the lads in the cabin moaning and yelling. I dropped down fearing the worst, not knowing what I would see next. Thankfully both lads were ok, with only minor back and leg injuries. The next day we were straight back out on another patrol.

To break the monotony of rations, once a week we have fried sausages and homemade chips from potatoes bought in the bazaar.

We also take pictures of our latest recruit, a frog, as he goes through his training.


  1. oh. whats occurrring

  2. lol well we have just sent a total of 8 boxes with mix of sweets and packet mixes(to try and make rations hate to word but edible) and parcels of the knitted goodies if anyone wants scarfs etc in regi colours let me know seems my knitting for heroes is growing with more joining each day,also sent 3 boxes filled with boiled sweets acid drops barley sugars but also fizz whizz and wham bars and 4 boxes filled with hand knitted goodies i some of what gets through to you

  3. I just want to wish you and your brave troops God speed - and know that you are being prayed for and sent best wishes for a speedy and safe return home to your families and loved ones....

    Safe passage

    Liz x

  4. Glad your doing a good job :)
    Not long until your back safe. x

  5. I just love the frog... try not to get blown out of any more turrets! :) x

  6. i'd like to say thank you to knitting for heroes. i have a hat. its brilliant. thankx

  7. Come home safe x

  8. just seen the comment about our knitted goodies getting through you made me cry,when i set up knitting for heroes was after a friend asked for a "doc who" scarf and some bed socks.Soon the requests were coming in thick and fast and each day i sit here and knit,and i get parcels from so many people who just want to knit for you guys and girls all i hope is that it just makes one person smile or every item is knitted with love and pride.Everyone thought we would stop knitting as winter is over but no as a we could not knit enough for demand this yr we are going to knit through summer and i hope stock pile so next winter everyone who wants a scarf,hat or some Dennis menace stripped bed socks will get them.So glad you loved your hat and i never knew how much a scarf or a hat could cheer some one up till i got your thank you letters/emails to each and every one of you stay safe.luv founder knitting for heroes

  9. great now anther 8 boxes to send tomorrow hope more hats get through and u made me cry each hat,scarf,socks knitted with love glad u liked urs more on way,and will continue knittng for heroes as founder its nice to be able to send practical items that are also "brill".luv founder knitting for heroes(stay safe all of you)X

  10. I want to see a blogg dedicated to what you guys n girls need out there! what is it you dont have or cant get? let me know an lets get it fixed! Please reply to this message

  11. look and see if u can contact my son in bastion lcpl grieve signals ied.