August In Admin Troop
Tpr Paul McGovern
24 August 2009
The last month has been a busy one for Admin Troop, with most of our AHSVS drivers on leave and no shortage of operations, QRF calls and endless tasks. The end of July left us with three drivers to go on a five day operation, which was marked by the trucks continually getting stuck in the soft sand; this is of course because none of our drivers have been properly instructed in the use of a gas pedal. Also of note was the can of orange Fanta I had tucked away in a remote corner of our vehicle’s cooler to break the tedium of drinking water and Gatorade crystals after a few days in the field. Naturally I was surprised and disturbed to find that my Fanta had not only been stolen, but drank by none other than my co-driver Tpr David Aube. He was repeatedly reminded of his boorish actions for the rest of the operation. The beginning of August saw another of our number prepare to go on leave, leaving Tpr Carson McAulay and myself to carry the torch and go on back-to-back operations, followed by a two week long QRF Festival. Most of our days over the past few weeks have been spent outside the wire on one task or another, the majority of which require us to sit in our truck watching the Afghan scenery until called upon. While some think that this sounds great due to our air conditioning, when the air conditioning is broken the cab becomes a 60°+ greenhouse, with the thick ballistic windows acting as a magnifying glass. Most of the time our vehicles carry mine rollers for a tank out to every QRF call, this being our primary task. Occasionally though we also have the fortune of carrying supplies to fix craters in the road, such as concrete blocks, corrugated iron and fascines.
Amidst the chaos of QRF, rocket attacks and last minute sea container recovery missions, you would think there would be very little time for discovering new species. However that is exactly what three strapping Admin Troop soldiers did in Mushan, when a creature slightly resembling a very small kangaroo was found lurking around one of the vehicles. While excited and intrigued over this strange rodent, the realization that hungry snakes would soon come looking for it, in and around our sleeping area, led us to subdue the kangaroo-like monster with a metal rod. In its final moments it attempted to lunge for the throat of its attacker, confirming to us all that it was indeed a vicious and dangerous animal. We can only hope that it was not the only one of its kind.
With a little over a month left in theatre everyone is starting to count down the weeks until B Sqn arrives. Work around the FOB continues, which recently involved members of Adm Tp picking up two ballistic sea containers on the back of a truck, dipsy-doodling them through concrete barriers and mud walls and dropping them behind the Command Post. This allowed the OC, SSM, BC and 2I/C to finally move out of their aging tents, and into a climate controlled and much better protected living environment. The seemingly endless series of tasks both inside and outside the camp, and the recent Afghan election have kept the few remaining members of Admin Troop extremely busy. While we have accomplished everything that is asked of us, due in no small part to the tireless work ethic of the Troop, I think we are all greatly looking forward to the return of our friends and fellow drivers.