Active Service/Operational Tours - the best and worst things

When it came to ammunition, on the few occasions we did get low it was ugl rounds and link that got there first. Never got to worrying levels
 

FailyScaley

War Hero
I've never used one round when thirty will do.
 
Best:

Being on the first plane of the British main body to deploy on Op Granby and knowing you had been 'selected' to be apart of the ad-hoc unit you were a part of.

Having to drive from Tuzla to Split the long way round in a Merc low loader so we could spend Xmas at our base unit as per theatre orders (TBH, we'd be happy spending it on the yank camp). It was an almost 24 hour drive through blizzards and deep snow whilst all the time playing the 'The Best Christmas Album In The World Ever' on a JVC Boomblaster and to this day Let It Snow is still my fave Xmas song.
We got back just in time for the bar opening on Xmas eve :)

Christmas dinner on ops with all your mates.

Being attached to a unit you had always thought of as naff and finding out they are actually very good and look after everyone.

Being left alone to do your job.

Being treated like a grown up.

The lack of bullsh*t.

Your unit finally being a 'unit' by the end of the tour.

Seeing the advance party of your replacement unit arrive.

Drink restrictions being circumvented in ingenious ways.

Seeing (and getting to use) kit that you never even knew existed but was apparently going to be issued anyway

10 Mins after wheels up on the flight home when you are pretty sure you are out of small arms and MANPAD range.

Being attached to 3CS Regt RLC (great tour) and getting back to Abingdon to find the RAO signing out an AR payment of £60 to everyone so we could all go out on the pop that night. A very nice touch I thought.

This one sounds a bit weird, but getting back to camp and seeing the loosk on the faces of the sprogs who had been posted in from training when they realise that they are really not top dogs and are about to be brought down to Earth with a very large bump :)

Bad bits:

Burning shit ala Vietnam style on Granby. I'm sure there is still a portion of that stench still stuck up my nostril somewhere :(

Doing the same pre-tour training for the 'nth time (yes, I know it's important but there is always a little voice in your head going 'Again?! FFS!')

Being processed into theatre. Seriously, there must be an easier and quicker way to run a TRC (and this is from someone who spent a chunk of a Bos tour working in the TRC at Split!)

The day you fly out on tour. It's the longest day ever.

Doing a tour with your own unit when the SNCO's and other grown ups have not done a tour in over 10 years, if ever (whilst the rest of you have done several in the past few years) and have no idea how to mange people in the field for extended periods.

Finding out mates have died or have been severely injured miles away and you can't do a thing about it.

Trying to sleep when it's too hot and failing (I'm a cold weather person).

The first issue of CS95 dissolving in the wash after a few weeks in Bos.

Grown ups who have not deployed (or ever have) trying to bring you 'back down to Earth' when you return.

I'm sure there are more I can add later.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Worse - the daily IDF for 6.5 months in the COB, Basra
Best - The food in the main cookhouse in Camp Bastion, especially steak night.
 
The OC also detested my Iraqi Army uniforms (approx 80 full sets including boots, belts and helmets) which were liberated from a burning stores depot in Al Amarah after it was torched by some aggrieved locals.
One of our lads at the Palace found a Republican Guard armband and Field Marshall's rank tab from somewhere and wandered out of the guardroom while the QM's gang of highly organised local thieves were queueing up to sign in for another hard day of perving at the COMCEN girls sunbathing and attempting to rape the sprog techs who wandered into the bogs while the LECs spread dirty water round them with a mop older than me.

The Ali Baba crew shit themselves when they saw it.
 

Boris_Johnson

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
Hard to pick a best bit...

Getting paid over £600 NRSA in 1999 to do the BN-Islander equipment course in the Isle of Wight and basically get royally fucked for two weeks; some old bootneck ran the Monteagle Hotel and would leave the bar open at night and put cheese and nibbles out for us. As it was off-season too, the locals were surprisingly welcoming to our rugged military prowess. Until some prick overdid it on the Karaoke whilst murdering "it's not unusual" by stripping off halfway through... (in my defence, the DJ suggested it - even though I suspect he didn't think in a million years I actually would....)

Op Octopus 2005, hopping between Sarajevo and BLMF living off a diet of beer, steak, beer, beef jerky, beer, flamin hot cheetos, beer ...and wondering why I'd put on nearly two stone in 4 months. You know when you've overdone it when your autopilot teams up with EM and suggests that instead of going to bed for three hours, why not go to the office instead? That way your EngO will think you are mega-keen being first in work too. It worked. Capt C came in next day "Morning Staff - you're in early, good to see" ...and then five mins later when he goes to grab a coffee "By the way, I'd have been more convinced if you were in uniform and had shaved first!" (How to know your boss is a fucking diamond, Lesson 1)

Final Afghanistan tour - being the only fuckers in Bastion still committed, trying to do your job in amongst proper jobsworths trying to womble everything around you. Watching the guys work their magic on the mighty AH, keeping the beasts flying in order to deliver explosive ordnance on our Queen's enemies. Besides the usual J2, it was particularly pleasing each time one of our CPGs reported yet another Taliban warrior is now scattered over 4 grid squares following his morning dump, crimped off by a Hellfire (see by that time, they'd always have a kiddy in tow, as they knew we didn't want to risk CDE by spanking a 'civilian' so we'd have to patiently wait for them to visit the thunderbox).

Col P's top table in the WOs' & Sgts' Mess - holy fucking jesus tittying christ was that messy. We've all worked for shitty officers, we've all worked for good ones. DP was one of the best and it was an honour to be there to see the guy off in style. I caught up with him again last year - in Hooters, San Diego of all places. Playing pool with some amazingly hot chicks in tight hotpants and cropped t-shirts. Which, ironically, is what the girls were also wearing...

Being thrown around in the back of a Lynx. When you're about to go compass swinging in Ballykelly and your crew is a rough looking stripey and a para full-screw, you kind of get the feeling they're not just going to fly in a straight line back to Aldergrove... I'm just glad I kept my brekkie down that day...

Getting into loads of shit for free in America and being "thanked for my Service" after flashing my MOD90 (like all good veterans, I have a spare one that I've not handed in, along with a spare set of dogtags).

I have to say though, the best thing of all is at the very end, having a huge network of mates, financial security for the rest of my life, experience that no money can by, and the confidence to take anything on and appreciate true quality of life.

Oh, and revelling in the fact that so many civvie cunts, who I despise, pay my wages. And now pension. Forever.
 
Hard to pick a best bit...

Getting paid over £600 NRSA in 1999 to do the BN-Islander equipment course in the Isle of Wight and basically get royally fucked for two weeks; some old bootneck ran the Monteagle Hotel and would leave the bar open at night and put cheese and nibbles out for us. As it was off-season too, the locals were surprisingly welcoming to our rugged military prowess. Until some prick overdid it on the Karaoke whilst murdering "it's not unusual" by stripping off halfway through... (in my defence, the DJ suggested it - even though I suspect he didn't think in a million years I actually would....)

Op Octopus 2005, hopping between Sarajevo and BLMF living off a diet of beer, steak, beer, beef jerky, beer, flamin hot cheetos, beer ...and wondering why I'd put on nearly two stone in 4 months. You know when you've overdone it when your autopilot teams up with EM and suggests that instead of going to bed for three hours, why not go to the office instead? That way your EngO will think you are mega-keen being first in work too. It worked. Capt C came in next day "Morning Staff - you're in early, good to see" ...and then five mins later when he goes to grab a coffee "By the way, I'd have been more convinced if you were in uniform and had shaved first!" (How to know your boss is a ******* diamond, Lesson 1)

Final Afghanistan tour - being the only ******* in Bastion still committed, trying to do your job in amongst proper jobsworths trying to womble everything around you. Watching the guys work their magic on the mighty AH, keeping the beasts flying in order to deliver explosive ordnance on our Queen's enemies. Besides the usual J2, it was particularly pleasing each time one of our CPGs reported yet another Taliban warrior is now scattered over 4 grid squares following his morning dump, crimped off by a Hellfire (see by that time, they'd always have a kiddy in tow, as they knew we didn't want to risk CDE by spanking a 'civilian' so we'd have to patiently wait for them to visit the thunderbox).

Col P's top table in the WOs' & Sgts' Mess - holy ******* jesus tittying christ was that messy. We've all worked for shitty officers, we've all worked for good ones. DP was one of the best and it was an honour to be there to see the guy off in style. I caught up with him again last year - in Hooters, San Diego of all places. Playing pool with some amazingly hot chicks in tight hotpants and cropped t-shirts. Which, ironically, is what the girls were also wearing...

Being thrown around in the back of a Lynx. When you're about to go compass swinging in Ballykelly and your crew is a rough looking stripey and a para full-screw, you kind of get the feeling they're not just going to fly in a straight line back to Aldergrove... I'm just glad I kept my brekkie down that day...

Getting into loads of shit for free in America and being "thanked for my Service" after flashing my MOD90 (like all good veterans, I have a spare one that I've not handed in, along with a spare set of dogtags).

I have to say though, the best thing of all is at the very end, having a huge network of mates, financial security for the rest of my life, experience that no money can by, and the confidence to take anything on and appreciate true quality of life.

Oh, and revel in the fact that so many civvie *****, who I despise, pay my wages. And now pension. Forever.
Yanks are ace.

I carried out a naked PT session on their parade square in Vincenza, Italy a few years ago when Mr Michelob had my attention for several hours, during R&R on an exchange jumps course.

My punishment by their Sergeant Major type bloke was a set of US para wings and a hearty handshake.

He probably admired and desired my impressive schlong.
 

Fugly

LE
DirtyBAT
Probably one (but not only!) of my favourite bits was watching Caddyshack for the umpteenth time in the US SF bar in Sarajevo at about 5am before thanking the lord I was on lates that day while bumbling back to the block. Happy tour, that one
 

ACAB

LE
During Op Corporate 2SG engaged 4 x Argentine jets in the vicinity of Fitzroy. Added to the general mayhem of two burning ships, elements of 2 Para letting rip with dozens of captured FN FALs on full auto, Blowpipe SAMs whizzing off like fireworks, it was quite a show but was all over in a couple of minutes.

All of the aircraft got away I believe.

The 5 Bde Q bloke got a shock about half an hour later when 2SG put in a resupply request for 17,000 rounds of 7.62mm... :)
We claimed two Skyhawks as shot down.
 
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Worst moment: Selfie of my unhappy face taken at 22.35 on 7th September 2012.

I'd just come off stag where the command had refused me permission to pop a flare over a figure probing our defences, telling me "don't worry about it". The attack on camp bastion started 7 days later, pretty much to the minute.
View attachment 258711
Now I fucking well recognise you.

During herrick 16 you kept reporting sick with a dripping fanny.
 

45x45

LE
Serious:

Best - actually operating the trigger in anger after quite a few "almost" moments.
Worst - The realisation that I am now deaf and my tinnitus is never going away. (Bit close to the section GPMG).

Not so serious:

Best - Pissing myself laughing at my best mate having a ND with a 30mm in Canada,
Worst - Public duties London.. every second of it.
 

wolfgang

Old-Salt
Worst - NBC sentry as the ground war kicked off on Granby and the realisation that things were getting very real.
Best - the end of a very short flight in NI when the Puma pilot decided that taking off during a horrendous thunderstorm maybe wasn't such a great idea after all
 
A personal low point was the very rapid realisation that the language that I'd just spent a year and a half learning at Beaconsfield bore only a passing resemblance to that used by the locals. The ability to fluently organise a cocktail party on board an aircraft carrier (I kid you not, that was actually in the syllabus!) was **** all use when faced with an angry Afghan farmer wanting compensation for the donkey my Danish friends had just accidentally brassed up. Fun times!
Hehe.....same but different story. Had a mate who went away and did the full twelve month 'langs' course. Once done, he was back to his unit and subsequently deployed to Timor....err the language he did was not conducive to Tetun Prasa.

'We', on the other hand deployed to AFG, sooooo, after much annoyance to various CoC's got him on our gig. Out he comes on the other side of the wire. Right, chat to ol' matey (beards, various). Mate looks fcuking askance! He doesn't understand beards, various. WTF!

PC: "You did the fcuking course mate!"
Mate: "Yeah, but I fcuking can't understand ol' mate!"
PC: "You are a dead-set fcuktard!"

Gets back to FOB, then by chance hears some sorta language close to what he was taught at the 'langs' school. Goes up and chats to the person. After much gestering, and pig-latin translation finds out that he was taught Farsi, which by all accounts is a 'Royal' language and spoken by officer-elite. What he should of been taught was Urdu.
 

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