Thursday, March 26, 2009

RAF Police mentor Afghan counterparts

For the last six months, eight members of the RAF Police have been deployed to Afghanistan with the mission to train, mentor, shape and influence the Afghan National Police in order to create a secure environment.

The job involved numerous contacts with the enemy and, for Sergeant John Muir, this would prove to be the most challenging operational experience of his Service career.

He deployed to Afghanistan in October 2008 with Corporals Barnaby, Proctor, Kirk, Sibley, Wells, Rush and O'Boyle. Along with members of the Royal Military Police they joined 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (2 RGR) and formed police mentoring teams at various forward operating bases and patrol bases in southern Helmand.

Cpl O'Boyle and Sgt Muir deployed to Patrol Base Jaker which Sgt Muir described as a two-storey, roofless, partially-built building located on the outskirts of Nawa District Centre.

He said:
"Conditions were harsh with no running water, no electricity, no toilet facilities etc. Meals were produced using the contents of 24-hour ration packs and resupply of essential rations and equipment via helicopter drops only. Attacks by enemy forces on ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] were frequent, with the patrol base and our patrols regularly being subject to 107mm rocket, RPG [rocket-propelled grenade], PKM and SAF [both machine guns]."

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