Long days at Camp Price

Trooper Jonny Ritchie from the Royal Dragoon Guards writes about long days at Camp Price, and of trying to get better at Mario Kart!

Another week has passed and quickly too! Although through the past week we have had time to relax, it has been mixed with some very long days indeed.  At the start of this week we handed over responsibility of QRF at PB2 to the Gurkha Mastiff group and made our way back to Camp Price for this week’s activities. Not a good start to being back at Price; caught the end of England’s 4-1 defeat to Germany. Oh well, there’s always the Euros…

Found out that I’m the HMG gunner for Cpl Stead so that helped bring back some smiles after the football results as I get to be on his Mastiff named ‘Big Love’. I’ve known Chris – aka “Steady” – since I joined the Army back in Germany in 2006 and ever since Iraq his vehicles have been named ‘Big Love’. Well if he ever reads this he owes me a drink, for mentioning his beloved wagon.

The day after this we had a no move day to sort out admin, including washing and maintenance on the Mastiffs. There was also time to catch up on some sleep.  Then it was back to the job at hand; we rose the next day at 0430, did a CLP and arrived back at Price just in time for evening scoff (meal). Then we were back out at 2200 to move infantry from one of the PBs to another location for an Operation. A very long day and night indeed – got back again to Price at 0100 and as I’m sure you can imagine bed was not long after our return.

After about six hours sleep I was up again with my driver Tpr John Laryea to take our Mastiff to the REME for our monthly inspection. After that was complete, it was back to bed until lunch. The rest of the day was ours to do as we pleased; I used my time wisely trying to beat some lap times on my Nintendo that Tpr “Eddie” Edwards and LCpl “LB” Lawton had set during our stint as QRF. Although many kids would state otherwise, Mario Kart is harder than it looks!

The next day arose for a CLP to Bastion, got there for lunch and, as we had a couple of free hours while the RLC loaded their trucks, we went to the American PX (like our NAAFI). My driver John bought a new laptop which he now looks at as if it was a new baby. On returning to Price later in the day we had to sort out a noise that we had coming from under our Mastiff with the REME.

I look forward to what the next week may bring and to beating lap times. So it’s bye for now…