Canadian soldiers fight to survive extreme Afghan heat

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 5, 2009.

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  1. Canadian soldiers fight to survive extreme Afghan heat


    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — For cool-weather Canadians fighting a war in the south of this arid country, tackling the heat is sometimes half the battle.

    The Afghan sun beats heavily on soldiers kitted up with gear, especially in battles or on patrol.

    “It’s like being in a sauna, all dressed up, with 60 or 70 pounds on your shoulders and you just keep throwing water on the rocks,” Pte. Benoit Ainsley, 27, from Tracadie-Sheila, N.B., said Sunday, after spending two days on patrol through villages and grape fields in 45 C-plus heat.

    “It depends on what soldiers have to carry, but let’s say I have about 50 pounds on my shoulders . . . it doesn’t take long until you get wet, mostly from wearing the frag vest.

    “At some point, your body gets used to the heat. But your kit really starts to get heavier, and dealing with the mud walls that we have to climb, and other difficult ground, you obviously get more tired.”

    On patrol, every speck of shade is an oasis — every wall to rest against, a respite.

    As you walk, sweat drips from underneath your helmet and down your torso. Your heart pumps harder, your shoulders ache.

    Mud walls become harder to scale. Your body temperature seems to climb with each obstacle.
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  2. yep sounds about right!! they forget how slimy your chin strap gets tho !!
  3. Cool-weather Canadians :cool: are they being serious, was over 40 degrees most days with the humidity when I was there last year.
  4. I found the most annoying thing for me was the dry skin on hands...e45 was ok when applied, nipped the web of my right hand with gpmg and everyday when it scabbed over it would crack again..bugged life outta me
  5. Cool Weather?? In the winter perhaps but gets pretty hot there too. I'm from the US but got to Ontario every October for Thanksgiving holiday with friends and my Godchildren, The past two years it has been around 96F (35C for the Europeans). Thanksgiving dinner was outside on the porch deck as it was cooler there.

    Of course the weather we get in New England we suffer through and then pass along our second-hand weather to our friends in Nova Scotia. Generally what we get they get the next day.

    That said 45C (113F to us Septics) sounds brutal, especially with full kit. Good luck to all over there.
  6. So being shot at wasn't as annoying?
  7. Yep, Medicine Hat / CFB Suffield can be hot and dusty with sandflies in summer and seriously feckin' cold in winter. Of course Wainwright has it's moments too. Happy days :D

    (edited for mong spelling :oops: )
  8. I remember watching the advance guard of UNTAG (the UN Transitional Assitance Group) coming off the aircraft in Grootfontein, Namibia. They were Fins who had done minimal heat training. UN Special Representative UN Special Representative to Namibia, Martti Ahtisaari, was Finnish, and had ensured that his soldiers were a part of the force. They fell when the heat hit them as they deplaned onto the apron. :oops: