Trooper Jonny Ritchie blogs about enjoying a slightly less frenetic pace in Afghanistan…
Another week on Quick Reaction Force in PB2. I don’t work for the Met Office but the temperatures definitely seem to be dropping slightly, making it easier to sleep at night. During the week we even had two days with intermittent cloud – sadly without rain though. Amazing wanting rain! If it was the UK I’d be begging the weather to stay clear! The week’s workload was steady and efficient and we didn’t have to dip into our rations once this week, as we made it back for all our meals.
Most of our runs throughout the area were to escort trucks with mail, essential equipment and food to the various patrol bases and checkpoints. We also had to move a lot of passengers in our Mastiffs to the patrol bases. In our free time, before chilling out, we caught up with maintenance tasks. I’m sure I speak for the troop when I say the Mastiffs have excelled in the jobs we have used them for. The vehicles are used with very little break between tasks and when they do break down it’s not long until we can have them up and running again. They’re not Challenger 2 tanks, but they are great vehicles in their own right.
Being away before in Iraq I have noticed the hardest point in a tour is passing the halfway point, but not quite being close enough to the end to plan ahead. To everyone at home that has/is posting out packages, emails, blueys, letters, and e- blueys, you probably underestimate the power that these gestures have on the lads out here. Even a short letter can lift someone from feeling a little down to smiling by the time they read the last word, so a thank you to all that have sent out stuff.
During free time the lads have all started reading books as I think we’ve seen all our movies and out played most of our games! I mentioned a book last week, ‘Just One Look’ by Harlan Coben, brilliant writing and delivery and the end of each chapter has a twist to capture you into the next. I have finally accepted defeat to LCpl Lawton (LB) on Mario Kart. During the week his times were unbeatable but we worked together to complete the one player levels.Now that’s team work!
So for the first time since being out here we had an unusually steady week and enough sleep on QRF, the weather was even in our favour. All we have to do is hand over responsibility of QRF to the next group and return to Price. Until next time that’s all for now.