Lieutenant Rob Treanor is B Troop Commander of 15 Squadron, Combat Support Logistic Regiment. In his first blog from Afghanistan he reflects on settling in and his Squadron’s first Combat Logistic Patrol. He also writes about the things he misses from home and the challenges of the new environment, which include “fruity” portable toilets!
I’ve been here for just over a month now and feel like I’ve settled into things. Initially life was a bit crazy – at first there was limited living space, as we were sharing with the outgoing unit. Our first week was spent doing mandatory training as well as acclimatising, before we could start focusing on our future operations.
The last couple of weeks have seen my Squadron conduct their first Combat Logistic Patrol, where we delivered seed and fertiliser to the Sangin area, which was a good confidence boost at the start of the tour. My own role in this was to fly up to Sangin as a Liaison Officer, where I worked out which bits of kit we needed to move back to Bastion, as well as ensuring our operation didn’t clash with any other friendly forces in the area. I also spent some time working with the Royal Artillery, using their eyes in the sky to scan ahead of the route the convoy was taking, looking for suspicious activity and arduous terrain.
Life in Sangin was very basic compared to Bastion. It was refreshing to have to do my own washing in a bowl, and jumping in the Helmand River after a hard workout to cool down was awesome. The mice which ran around our bed spaces at night weren’t so pleasant, but life in a forward operating base (FOB) isn’t supposed to be glamorous.
I have found that the first month has flown by, but there have been times when I’ve missed things about being at home. Being away from my girlfriend is the worst of these, but other things like personal space (I live in an eight man room), non-communal toilets (some of the portable toilets are a bit fruity!), and beer are also sorely missed. Being aware of how I was feeling about these things, I’ve been chatting to my soldiers about they are finding their time away from home. I’ve asked them to set themselves goals to achieve, both career and fitness related, as well as asking them how what they are most looking forward to about going home so that they have something to look forward to.
The reason I joined the Army was to have adventures and new experiences, and I’m not surprised to find that there are plenty of both out here!