Sig Tonkinson is a Communications Logistic Specialist(CLS) currently stationed with 1st United Kingdom Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment (1 (UK) ADSR) based in Herford, Germany. She recently deployed on Op HERRICK 15 where she is employed as both a driver and crewman as part of Souter Force Protection Transport Company (SFPTC), stationed at Camp Souter in Kabul.
The snow is still here but now it is causing a lot more problems, the airport has cancelled flights, which has put a downer on those waiting to go home on R & R. This has meant that LCpl Terri Cartledge has spent her 21st birthday on camp Souter, I suppose it’s been one to remember, for all the wrong reasons!
Our new honourary member to the multiple, our friendly mouse (Mickey), has given us some giggles this week, he left one room, asually strolled down the corridor and disappeared into Craftsman ‘bums’ Brundel’s room. Upon entry Mickey conducted an immediate U-turn as if to say “No way, I am not living in there”’. Mickey obviously has high standards and the luxury of being able to choose who he wants to live with. As yet no one has managed to take a snap shot of Mickey – he seems a little camera shy and quite nimble on his feet.
Hopefully the snow will lift soon to allow people home on R & R, and particularly for Cpl Matt Wright who while here found out he is to become a dad.
Back on track
It’s been a quiet week, with us all having to stay inside camp for the majority of the time. The suicide bomb threat has gone up so there is to be no unnecessary movement outside of camp. Luckily we managed to get the next sortie of lads off on their R & R before the limitation was put in place. Any movement outside the gates now needs to be authorised by our higher formation. In some aspects this is not a bad thing, as we have managed to get some more hands-on training and experience with the vehicles.
On opening the doors to the first vehicle, inside was not what I expected to find – I was greeted by a mound of snow! Someone had forgotten to close the gunner’s hatch and the snow had come down heavily overnight. After a couple of hours clearing the snow we were back on track. The vehicle inspection started by checking all liquid levels, for example: oil, screen wash, transmission fluid, water coolant and break fluid. We soon moved on to tyres, seatbelts, greasing and oiling the moving parts and finally headlight checks the list goes on – basically it’s a mini MOT.
It was great to get my hands dirty and being under a vehicle adds to the experience of being a driver – it was good getting to know my vehicles and understanding them in much greater detail.
The week slowly came to an end and the snow is still on the ground presenting us with additional problems of ice on the road, especially when driving the 15-tonne Enhanced Platform Loading System (EPLS). Due to the diverse conditions that I am facing, I now feel that I am a lot better at driving the EPLS than before I deployed on tour.