Time Marches On…
This week marks my last week in my ‘day job’ for a year. I have four (well, now THREE) days left in the office. It’s all come about a bit quick really. I have a week away on leave next week and then I start the training that will see my through for my deployment to somewhere in Afghan – where I still don’t know, and I don’t know if I will find out until I actually get out there.
My own personal training is going as well as I could have expected, I have dropped a jeans size and lost a good amount of excess weight, and improved my fitness no end – back when I first started doing phys with a real aim – Afghan – I would go running for 30 minutes and not really get very far, now I am able to do four miles in just a little over that 30 minutes. I’m impressed with myself as during this training I discovered that I had a dicky-ticker, had High Blood Pressure, had a Left Bundle Branch Block ‘thing’ wrong with my heart and then discovered that the ticker WASN’T so dicky and that the LBBB thing is something I probably always have had since I was little and that it was no big shakes.
I discovered that the Army’s Counter Insurgency Manual and the Stabilisation and Support Joint Doctrine Guides are interminably boring and that RAF Benson is good at deploying its own people on it’s own deployments, but is less good at deploying people away to do ‘non-standard’ trips away. (I’m talking about you Clothing Stores. Oh yes!)
I discovered just how much I need to learn and just how rusty my Force Protection skills are and where I need to REALLY concentrate when I am on the proper Army training phase to come.
And I discovered just how much kit the service is giving me. Including a lot of stuff I never expected to get. I just had a look at an old Blog Post of mine (https://rafairman.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/shopping-list/) and look back on it now with a touch pathos. It was an innocent time. I have most of that kit now, either bought by myself, donated by my ever lovely girlfriend or provided by the service. I never expected to get underwear issued by the RAF. Or a Gerber/knife. Or a headtorch. But they turned up.
And there is other kit on the way. A friend of mine is supplying a spare headtorch (always better to take TWO of something as important as that!) and my new camera is actually my G/F’s old one (hers is a nice one that has a good zoom on it but it is an internal zoom and so less prone to dust!)…and there are still a few bits and bobs to get but I don’t have much to get now…and some other the things I don’t think I’ll be bothering with (for instance the lighter and the Pashto book).
It all rounds up to the fact that it is almost time. Time has, as ever, marched on, and it’s marched on faster than I expected. I had always split the whole thing into three – “Before”, “Training” and “The Deployment”.
The Purgatory of the Before is over now, and the next stage begins. I hope the time during THIS stage doesn’t go so fast, but then I am hoping that the time of the LAST stage goes a lot faster…