Private Graham ‘T’ Thurston is a soldier in 5 Platoon, B Company, the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) known as the ‘Tigers’. Private Thurston is based in the Nahr-e-Seraj District of Helmand Province as part of the 5 RIFLES Battle Group.
As the new Checkpoint Prrang (Tiger) takes shape in Kunjak, I have stayed behind in Checkpoint Jeker to drive the Husky vehicles which resupply three of our checkpoints.
When conducting a route recce for the new checkpoint, we drove down a road which had not been designed for vehicles. As we crossed a fast-flowing stream, my vehicle got stuck. The culvert we were crossing looked like it was strong enough. However, either side was thick clay which had been soaked by recent rain, and when we went over we got stuck. Every time we tried to move, the rear of the vehicle sank further into the wet clay. This filled the tread on the tyres, meaning we had less and less grip.
Pushing, pulling, lifting and dragging
The two other Huskys tried to help us, but things didn’t go to plan: one of the vehicles attempting to pull us out came off the road and into a ditch. With my vehicle stuck in wet clay and the front vehicle in a ditch, all hopes of self-recovery had ended in disappointment. We needed help. First we were sent a Medium Wheeled Tractor (MWT) which had the power and grip to at least get my vehicle unstuck; however, the MWT got bogged in as well. The day was going from bad to worse. Eventually, two Support Vehicles (Recovery) were called – basically a combination between a tank and a tractor. After a full day of pushing, pulling, lifting and dragging, the stricken vehicles were freed. When all the vehicles were out, we slowly moved back to Checkpoint Jeker, with one very battered-looking Husky.
Hopefully there won’t be too many more days like that before the end of tour.