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24 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2009
Snapshots from
GREEN berets in arid landscapes,
The temperature at the moment varies from distribution and inclination of local The operations
tramping through the dust and working
30°C to -5°C, easier conditions to deal with civilians and enemy forces in the are physically and
their way through compounds.
than the high temperatures of summer which area. mentally challenging,
rise to 50°C. Following briefings, rehearsals and on return to their
We have seen the pictures, we have
Although we should be entering the rainy will be conducted and the base at Kandahar
seen the video footage. season now there has been very little rain operation will be launched with an the Royals look
But how do the operations come together, recently, Helmand in particular is experiencing aviation assault. forward unbroken
and how are they carried through to a a drought. Having secured initial objectives sleep, showers and
successful conclusion? Wherever patrols go they encounter local the unit will then conduct a series fresh food (though
A sitrep from 42 Commando Royal Marines, nationals, usually farmers. of patrols to get to know the locals not necessarily in
Regional Battle Group South, gives an insight The men have all been trained to engage and dominate the area. that order).
into the conditions they and their comrades in with the locals using their limited Pashtu and The patrols last from one to The unit has found
45 Commando face as they seek to break the the local interpreters who accompany the seven hours and are usually its role challenging
hold of the Taleban and help bring stability to patrols. conducted on foot from a and immensely
the region. Although it is an alien environment, the temporary operating base. satisfying.
42 Commando are based in Kandahar and patrols are very proactive and enthusiastic Operations from the base can last Like everyone on tour,
are operating across Regional Command when meeting the locals. up to two to three weeks, during which time the though, the whole unit is looking forward to its Re
South, an area that includes Kandahar and Their reaction to the Royal Marines is unit will be in field conditions living off ration R & R in the New Year. for
Helmand provinces. invariably friendly, although 42 Commando’s packs, sleeping in bivouacs or compounds And although certain home comforts may
The ground that they have operated on operations have all taken place in areas where and washing when possible using local wells. be lacking when the Royals are away from sh
varies from arid farm land criss-crossed by ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) There will be a patrol on the ground at all their base on operations, another part of su
irrigation ditches and dotted with mud-walled troops have never previously operated. times and when the guys are back in the base 3 Commando Brigade are working hard to pa
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compounds, to the green zone, naturally 42 Commando’s operations are all proactive, they can expect to be covering sentry duties ensure that vital supplies get through. kil
irrigated land covered with thick jungle like and preparation for them starts with a thorough and standing by to deploy as a Quick Reaction From water and washers to bullets and es
vegetation. appreciation of the situation, including the Force. boots, fuel and festive food, the Commando
55

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