A Coy Blog (3 Platoon, CP PERKHA)
Lt. John Warburton
CP Perkha : A Platoon Commander`s perspective.
I cannot believe it has been more than a month that we have been living in CP Perkha. We have crammed our whole platoon plus some extras in to a very small and dusty little abode. We have spent a great deal of time, effort and a few hundred sandbags civilising and preparing it for the unwelcome and notoriously wet winter months; as yet though the skies remain clear. This does make it very cold after dark and those coming in from a late patrol risk exposure using our alfresco shower. Hygiene has been one of prime concerns within the CP and though very basic; compared to what we were expecting the facilities are almost regal.
The kitchen has captured the imagination of some budding chefs in the check point. Rifleman Swift and LCpl Lindo-Clarke are often seen busying themselves in there. All those that have cooked have been working with very limited supplies and scope, but have really produced some great efforts. Most of the check point eats together every night and this has generated a social focus which is not the BFPS television. We all occasionally enjoy a decent film night. There have been some pretty tense scrabble competitions in the ops room in the evening, with a shocking grasp of the English language by all ranks!
The relentless workings of daily life in the CP take a lot of time and no one is exempt; as a result the attachments have quickly become a part of a very cohesive platoon. This has been difficult when Cpl May has had her numerous bags of post flown in by helicopter, but seeing as she is the only female I think she has been let off.
We are not the only residents here at CP Perkha as it is also home to a battlegroup of mice. It has been a constant battle to mouse-proof storage containers and even a few wash bags have been raided too. LCpl Cadden has actually woken up next to one on his pillow. They are as welcome as they are shy. Our two South African members of the platoon have however taken up the mantle of pest control with a great keenness. There is also a cat that occasionally says hello, it spends most of its time on the roof asleep and we don’t see it very much. With so much food around for it the only explanation is gluttony.
We have of course spent a great deal of time on the ground patrolling; getting to know the area, ground and people in and around us. With one of the sentry positions located on a main road, the Riflemen have got to know the local children very well. Rifleman Balogun is 3 platoon`s only Muslim and as such enjoys presidential treatment wherever we go. Most of the locals are extremely welcoming and supportive and it is very strange having your name shouted at you as you patrol around by people you`ve never met. Word soon spreads here, once static for a while we are very quickly surrounded by kids. A stress I certainly was not prepared for.
The ground is always changing here and whilst we enjoy wide open spaces with the crops now harvested; the irrigated fields make going very difficult. Patrolling has become some kind of bog snorkelling contest. I don’t think anyone can understand how Rifleman Murray managed to lose both of his boots in the same field. The obstacle crossings have become a point of amusement in hindsight to with the likes of some battle hardened section commanders scared at the prospect of crossing a four foot ladder. Cpl Hone, I am talking about you. Inevitably most people have ended up soaked through at one stage or another and for Rifleman Russon his speedos have become an essential part of his protective clothing.
If we have any energy left then the makeshift gym has also become very popular. “Average Joe`s” has steadily attracted more and more members. Serjeant Anderson has acquired an electronic abs shock belt, his own personal bit of equipment, that he hopes will have the same result. We have our doubts. I however have on occasion enjoyed a “gentleman`s hour”, or two, on the latest addition of gym kit: the hammock.
There is so much going on and the patrols have become more and more focused. The work rate is getting higher but so is the morale; from our home away from home, 3 platoon is pulling together and ready for all that comes our way.
Lt John Warburton
OC 3 Platoon
A Company , 2 Rifles
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