RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

The End of the Beginning…

So that’s it.

That’s the training for my deployment to Afghan completed.

After four months of tabbing, patrolling, running, shooting, talking, reading, of often, quite literally, blood sweat and tears, I am now Cat 2+ trained and allowed ‘outside the wire of main base areas’.

And I am now on my pre-deployment training leave.  And the two of these things mean that my deployment is coming very soon. Now for security reasons – and sorry, but you are going to have to get used to this, dear reader – I can’t say exactly when I am going. Or indeed exactly WHERE I am going. To a ‘patrol base’ in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, after the long trip out there, via Camp Bastion.

So.

Basically, it’s almost here.  The biggest test of my career.  The biggest test of my life.  How will I do? Will I be brave? Will I acquit myself well? Or will I fail? Who knows.  It’s part of the adventure I guess. One of the reasons I volunteered to go out there and to go out there and make sure that I don’t just spend my time in the relative safety of Camp Bastion…and instead go out of the wire. Meet the local Afghans. Try and make their lives better.

Working as part of the Military Stabilisation Support Teams, I will be trying to help the Afghans rebuild their own country.  By improving the lives of the people in the towns and villages of Helmand, they will see that the Taliban are not the answer. This will mean that the government of Afghanistan will be strong and Afghanistan will not be a haven to terrorists that threaten our own security back here in Britain.

I just know that I want to get there now. Like the rest of the people teams who are going out with me ,we just want to be there. But this of course will take us all away from those that really matter to us. Our families.

So bear with me dear reader. Bear with me, as I spend the next few days with my family and ready myself for the trip out to Afghanistan. Get a bit of ‘family recognition time in’ and get my kit packed and sorted out for one last time.

And the next blog will be from ‘somewhere’ in Afghanistan…

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11 thoughts on “The End of the Beginning…

  1. Barbara E Adams on said:

    I’m so proud of you and your fellow soldiers. God be with all of you, and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m the daughter of one of the 17 USN pilots that were lent to the RAF in WWII for spotting purposes. My dad’s only wish when he was getting old was for me to bring him back to Ipswitch(?) at Lee-on-Solent so he could remember June 6. He passed last April 14, and in his honor I hope to make the trip to honor him. So, be careful, let us know your address so we can send care packages, and if any of you want a pen pal from Baltimore, Maryland, let me know.

    • That is lovely. Thank you. As soon as I know my address I will let you know. (email me on RAFairman@live.co.uk).

      I am saddened to read of your loss and saddened even more that he didn’t get to return to his old haunts in the UK. But I do hope you get to come over to the UK yourself. If you do and you get chance, it might be worth getting yourself over to St Clement Danes Church in London – The RAF’s own church – and up to Duxford, where the American museum is located. Superb to visit.

      And once again, thank you for your kind words.

  2. ex Met in NZ on said:

    Good Luck over there.

  3. Firstly, enjoy some “Quality Time” with your friends and family.
    I and many, many others have followed your blog over the last few months with growing admiration for your resolve, your wit and your dedication to service.
    I pray that God will be with you and, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit you will return safe and sound.
    That’s the “churchy” bit over – in the meanwhile, enjoy the experience and keep on blogging!!!

  4. Karen johnson on said:

    And all of a sudden it becomes real! Good luck and make sure you come back safe to us later in the year! We are all very proud of you, that you are able to add to the already rich military heritage that our family has. Love you lots x

  5. Rob... on said:

    Good luck! I’m looking forward to reading about your observations when you’re out there.

    Regards,

    Rob…

  6. Alistair Rae on said:

    Glad you’ve got through the training, and all the best with the trip out.

    The best thing about being out here is being able to say to our Afghan colleagues, “well done, here’s what you’ve achieved”

  7. Keep your head down mate. Get in, do your job and get out. ’nuff said.

  8. From an ex engineer, good luck! I hope you come back in one piece after giving us all a ground eye view of the position in Afghanistan.

  9. I can’t say much here, apart from it’s the best open, honest account of any forces blog I have ever read.

    I think your going to do just fine out there mate from what I know and read about you.

    I wish you the best of luck, not that you need it.

    Mark.

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