Lieutenant Claire Jackson – Combat Camera Team H19

Lt Claire Jackson, OC CCT Herrick 19

Lt Claire Jackson, OC CCT Herrick 19

Lieutenant Claire Jackson is team leader for the British Army’s combat camera team for H19. She works alongside Sgt Dan Bardsley (photographer) and Sgt Paul Shaw (video cameraman). They are based in Afghanistan and will be covering the work of the Armed forces, in particular 7th Armoured Brigade – the Desert Rats, throughout the winter.  They capture moving and still imagery from events out on the ground that national broadcasters don’t have access to.

The beginning

The journey for myself started right back in May 2013 when I worked my last day in the office of my civilian job and the following day rocked up to the Reinforcements Training Mobilisation Centre (RTMC), Chilwell to sign on the dotted line. What was I doing?  Second thoughts rushing through my mind.  Was I mad?  Did I realise what I was giving up – the warmth and cleanliness of an office in Warwickshire in exchange for a portacabin and tent in the middle of the desert!

The team

The team consists of me, Sgt Paul Shaw and Sgt Dan Bardsley. Both originally trained as photographers with Paul branching off into the role of Electronic News Gatherer (ENG) / video operator for this tour, whilst Dan is responsible for taking the photos.  My job is to pull the team together, organise and set up the jobs, direct and produce, and write up the stories.  I ensure that all jobs are completed and pushed out to various media outlets where possible.

11 Mar 2014
Helmand: Reflecting on the past six months

6 Feb 2014
‘Bottled in Afghanistan’ – water, weather and women at war
The first tasking we are given is in preparation for International Women’s Day on 8 March which celebrates the role that women have played and continue to play in conflict resolution and peace building.  We’ve been asked to collate a list of women in the military involved in such roles and collect supporting imagery and footage.

27 December 2013
A busy end to the year
It’s that time of year when everyone reflects on the past twelve months. Looking back on my year, or even the last few months since beginning this tour, I would struggle to list all the memorable experiences we have been so fortunate to have witnessed on this tour.

8 November 2013
Getting into the swing of things pt2
Being out here away from all the usual creature comforts, as well as missing family and friends, I’ve been missing my pets and any sort of interaction with fluffy animals being very much a cat and dog lover.  The wildlife in Bastion consists of the odd fox or rodent, a breed of enormous ants that can be found swarming around the camp, and in the smaller patrol bases you get the occasional stray cat or dog.

29 October 2013
Getting into the swing of things pt1
Our stay at Ouellette continued to be a string of new experiences for me – the first one being told what a ‘desert rose’ is…..and it’s not a flower.  Let’s just say this sort of rose was designed with male soldiers in mind.

7 October 2013
New tour, new team
The journey for myself started right back in May 2013 when I worked my last day in the office of my civilian job and the following day rocked up to the Reinforcements Training Mobilisation Centre (RTMC), Chilwell to sign on the dotted line. What was I doing?  Second thoughts rushing through my mind.  Was I mad?  Did I realise what I was giving up – the warmth and cleanliness of an office in Warwickshire in exchange for a portacabin and tent in the middle of the desert!

26 thoughts on “Lieutenant Claire Jackson – Combat Camera Team H19

  1. Pingback: New tour, new team | The Official British Army Blog

  2. Hi Claire, what you have said so far is really good and I am very eager to become a Photographer inthe RAF i have even gone back to college for the right grade but can people in the RAF be in the combat camera roles like you are.

    Kind regards
    Rachel

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    • Hi Rachel, thanks for comments. As far as I know you can be a photographer in the RAF in these sort of roles. Although it is mainly the Army teams who do the bigger combat operations.
      Good luck with college.
      Claire

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  3. Good luck Claire – stay safe.

    Without the bravery of people like you who go to war armed with a camera and not a weapon, we would not get the true facts.

    All my very best for your tour.

    Jim S

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  4. Pingback: New tour, new team | The Official British Army Blog

  5. hi claire. its OB from ouellete how are you getting on? i seen the video of the shuting down of the fob. have you been up too much?

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    • Hi OB, good to hear from you. I hope you are settling back in ok in the UK. All is well out here, we’re being kept busy with a variety of tasks. Keep watching the blog for our updates.

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  6. Pingback: Getting into the swing of things pt1 | The Official British Army Blog

  7. Dear Claire Congratulations what an Amazing Blog! I have shared your latest update as I always do on my linked-in and facebook. I have included the sensational shot of the CCT at work filming 4 SCOTS during RSO. I am connected with all the senior journalists from the British Press and Media including the editors of all the major newspapers, so your updates always receive the audience that you and your fellow bloggers so inspiringly deserve. This update was indeed my favourite read since I subscribed. My daughter is a WO in CSAT and she is due to return to Afghan soon. “Open ended invite RSVP” My wife and I have a home next to Gibraltar its on a golf course and next to the beach. We have spare rooms so if any the film, photo or fellow bloggers would ever like to be our guests for R&R then are home will always be yours. We will host you guys, give you the guided tours and provide you the perfect R&R experience. Take care, look after yourselves and keep on inspiring the world. BRAVO !

    Simon Peter Newbound
    Adventure Photographer
    British Forces RTD
    BMW Endurance Guinness Champion of the world 2013

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    • Hi Simon, firstly thank you for kind words. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. And thank you for the very generous offer of a stay at your home. As we only get a short period of time for R&R I’m not sure we will be able to take you up on it this time, but definitely in the future. Keep in touch, and watch out for the new blogs.
      Lt Jackson

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  8. Pingback: Getting into the swing of things pt2 | The Official British Army Blog

  9. Pingback: Getting into the swing of things pt2 | The Official British Army Blog

  10. Hi Claire, currently on H19, ive been thinking about my Career a lot whilst ive been out here and ive been inspired by War photographers, and by your team. Though i don’t know where to start, is it transferring?, what’s the selection like and what’s the course like, i cant find much online so i hope you don’t mind me asking on here
    Thanks
    E.N.

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  11. Pingback: The Halfway Point | The Official British Army Blog

  12. Hi Clare, nearly an OAP myself, just watched a BBC film ‘Our Girl’ about a girl who joins the Army and dies in Afghanistan. Were you involved in the filming there? Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Year!

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  13. Hi Pete, I also saw that film earlier this year before I came out here. Sadly I wasn’t involved in the filming of it. I enjoyed it though, and it brought back many memories of my basic training that I went through.
    Lt Jackson

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  14. Thanks Claire, my Dad did National Service in the RADC in Palestine and Bovington, I was more inclined to the RAF but failed selection at Biggin Hill. Happy New Year. I’m on Arse as rednose!

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  15. Pingback: A busy end to the year | The Official British Army Blog

  16. Pingback: ‘Bottled in Afghanistan’ – water, weather and women at war | The Official British Army Blog

  17. Hey Claire, Congrats on getting engaged! Hope you’ll both be very happy. Learn to forgive each other as soon as you can and you’ll have a long happy marriage, w’ve been together for 25 years! Not all partnerships end in divorce!

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  18. Pingback: Helmand: Reflecting on the past six months | The Official British Army Blog

  19. Reading this was amazing I remember bein in phase 2 In pirbright with claire such an amazing girl,helped every1 I have now transfered from the RLC to the AAC but I do miss the driving side of it.

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  20. Claire, I can relate to what you pen down. As a Cavalry Officer myself I can relate to the fauna and flora of the desert terrain. Desert rats remind me of Montgomery Rats of Africa fame. Though my hero still is the Desert Fox. Cheers

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