Cycling from Lashkar Gah to Topcliffe – on tour

Lieutenant James Wakeham, Press Officer for 4th Regiment Royal Artillery (4 Regt RA), writes about the soldiers’ unusual exercise regime.

94 Battery has done one month in Afghanistan now, and is split into two distinct groups.

The beautiful flower garden in Laskar Gah camp

The beautiful flower garden in Laskar Gah camp

The Command Troop is working in the headquarters of Task Force Helmand in Lashkar Gah.

They make decisions about what the artillery does, planning for future operations. They also act as a ‘sounding board’ for ideas produced by the planning teams. Alongside the long hours being put into ‘day jobs’, Command Troop is also heavily involved in camp security, manning the sangars or watchtowers, and controlling access to the main gate when on guard.

The view from one of the watchtowers

The view from one of the watchtowers

We watch the people going about their daily lives.

We watch the people going about their daily lives.

Despite this, most of the troop have found time for both ‘Op MASSIVE’ and ‘Op BRONZE’ – otherwise known as getting fit and getting brown.

There is a new charity initiative involving members of the Battery covering the distance between Lashkar Gah and Topcliffe by treadmill, static bike, cross trainer or rowing machine. Most of the Battery are avoiding the rowing machine and have opted to clock up the miles on the bike or the treadmill, apart from one guy that is who appears determined to row the entire distance on his own.

The other half of the Battery is in the Quartermasters’ department at Camp Bastion. The Padre and the Regimental Sergeant Major also work out of Camp Bastion, but they spend the majority of their time visiting the members of the Regiment who are scattered around the Province.