A few photographs taken in a couple of the forward patrol bases that I passed through when out on different jobs whilst I was over in Helmand. The conditions are, as you would probably imagine, very basic and simple but the troops make do with what they have and if they don’t have it then you can guarantee that some ingenious member of the unit will make, build or improvise anything they might want. The bases are of course prepared with some defensive positions in case of attack and are made as ‘homely’ as possible given the conditions as the troops will usually have to live and work from these bases for their six months of deployment.
A bullet marked wall and entrance to one of the ‘rooms’ used to house troops
This poster to support England in the World Cup was stuck up on the wall, however I should imagine it has been removed by now!
A shrine built by Gurkha soldiers at one of their Patrol Bases
An alcove built into the wall provides a storage space for equipment
The officer in charge of one of the units watches over an operation that is taking place from the operations room at a patrol base
A sand-bagged defence position on the roof of a base at one of the locations in Nad’ Ali
Clothes dry on a washing line next to a couple of beds brought outside into the cooler evening air
A Gurkha looks out from his defensive position on the roof of a compound that is being used as a base
The bases also provide Mortar support to troops operating around the base when they need it and the mortar crew are able to spring into action very quickly when the call comes for a fire mission
The interior of a Mastiff vehicle is illuminated in the soft glow of the red lights inside the vehicle as it prepares to leave a patrol base