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In the centre of the base here in Lashkar Gah is the NAAFI, the Navy Army Air Force Institute. Established in 1920, the NAAFI provides basic recreational facilities to the military world-wide and, whilst not exactly Starbucks, is a good place to have a few quiet minutes with a coffee. In Afghanistan it serves as…

Others

As well as the British military headquarters, Lashkar Gah is also home to the Provincial Reconstruction Team, the joint UK and US governments’ civilian department working with the Afghan government on economic development, reconstruction, governance and rule of law structures. Their existence is more comfortable than the military’s when it comes to accommodation, working hours…

Dogs

Military bases are characterised by very straight lines and ours in Lashkar Gah is no exception. The accommodation tents, cookhouse and office areas are pitched in neat rows with the plastic decking used as walkways in between ramrod straight. If the army has been given a very small area in which to live, work and…

Dust

The dust in Helmand is unlike any I’ve ever come across before. As soft as talcum powder, it floats on the air like smoke, coating every surface. Even the leaves on the trees have the soft brown veneer which seems to be the dominant colour in this part of Afghanistan. The land near to, and…

Helicopters

We’ve settled into a routine in Helmand.  I share a 20’ by 20’ room with three other men and a lot of dust.  With all our kit and weapons it’s a squeeze.  The trick is to be more tolerant than usual, especially with us all working different routines and sometimes getting up in the middle…