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.
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…