Decompression - Your views

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
This is primarily aimed at those who have gone through the Decompression process at Camp Bloodhound in Cyprus.


  • What did you think of the process (your views before arrival and after you left - did you change your perception of the process)?
  • What was the best/most valuable part of Decompression?
  • What was the worst/least valuable part of Decompression?
  • What would you change to improve the process (within the bounds of realism)?
  • Any other comments about the process?
 
#2
The general pre-concensus amongst the lads and lasses from the 2 occasions I've used the facility is that they see it as an unnecessary extra day away. But after decompression they believed it to have been an invaluable experience; a time to vent if necessary. The facilities had improved 10 fold since returning from TELIC 12 in 2008 and HERRICK 12 in 2010.

How to improve? More PT :winkrazz: No, in all honesty, I think the process is balanced, well refined and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
 
#3
Great if you've genuinely been under stress at a FOB, pretty pointless of you've been based at KAH, for example. Organised around large RiP's (obviously).

Heard it described as hideously inflexible as it nails down your return dates and if they stat to move your options become limited. Those who do short tours a couple of times a year find it a massive ball ache. I count myself lucky I've managed to avoid it each time.
 
#4
Too be honest, whilst it's a relatively painless experience, a BBQ and some time on the beach isn't going to stop someone going postal if they were leaning that way already.

I would've rather just headed straight home. Or as straight as the RAF would have found convenient, obviously.
 
#5
Think it stopped being useful the second it became a ridgidly structured thing, originally its point was 'let off some steam, get shitfaced, talk about mates that didnt make it home then beat the shit out of each other' (I know i was on the first one) thus limiting the damage individuals did back in the real world. As i said as soon as it became structured with the emphasis on faffing about down the beach and listening to a mediocre comedian or watching a film (seriously?) it stopped serving its purpose.

The headshed were probably concerned about some of the stronger stories coming out of shenanigans occuring on decompression and you will get the usual units who will try and smash the place up/get more drunk/cause more dramas just to make it seem like they had a tough tour but realistically, its probably better then blokes going postal back home.

Bring back the beer throwing mass brawls and hospitalisations i say.
 
#6
Bring back the beer throwing mass brawls and hospitalisations i say.
Not sure too many female Swedish tourists would be happy with that.
 
#8
Bring back the beer throwing mass brawls and hospitalisations i say.
Not sure too many female Swedish tourists would be happy with that.
Yawn!!! I'm off up the pub. Left my mini moke up there last night with the garden tools in it. :)
 
#11
Been through it twice now; first time around I was really not that bothered and felt that putting a fire support company on the same package as a RMP Coy was probably not the smartest move. It served a purpose.

Second time around, the facilities were greatly improved, the comedians were excellent, the bands/singers were great and the Rugby was on. Having spent a day on the beach, which I think could be improved by having a BBQ during the day, the whole experience was painless.

End of the day it was one more day, where I was getting paid for sitting on a beach, drinking beer and watching a decent show. Cannot honestly see why people complain about it to be fair, it's part of your tour, you still get LSSA, it goes towards your tax return. We complain that there is nothing fun in the army any more, then try and avoid a day on a beach?!
 
#12
It was fantastic:

Dark o'clock. Dumped off in a hangar next to airfield for 3 hours. Dark and very cold. No hot water, no lights in toilets. Stripped of uniform and told to put on beach wear despite the fact it was freezing. Crap coffee, no food except 100s of packets of M&Ms. Very cold/draughty bunk beds ( the whole plane load in one room so obviously no sleep was had)
0730 hrs. Bussed to breakfast
0830 hrs. Bussed to enclosed military beach - still freezing
0900 hrs. Swim test in freezing water
0910 hrs - 1500 hrs. Sat on beach full of male soldiers (not my thing) on a cold, windy (albeit slightly sunny) day. Too cold for water sports, nothing else to do
1500 hrs. Bussed to Bloodhound. Placed into a dormitory in a bunk bed. No hot water
Evening. Very basic and not very tasty BBQ (not a real one, you queued up in cookhouse for the food) followed by a borderline funny comedian and an average pub band.
Absolutely no atmosphere in entertainment room although I was permitted to drink 2 whole cans of beer.
2300 hrs. Still no hot water so had a cold shower and went to my bunk bed in the 20 odd man room
Early morning. Still no hot water. Breakfast and bussed to airport to fly to UK

My thoughts on it? An absolute waste of everybody's time and a sham so the Army can say they are looking after us all by helping us decompress before we go home and wreck towns/batter our wives.
 
#13
2 beers? we got vouchers for 4. Although I do think there was a degree of flexibility needed should the weather not be conducive to beach activities.
 
#14
Alternatively,

2300 - Put four of your BG and two of your Coy on a repatriation flight.

0400 - flight to Kandahar.
0900 - sit in shit tented accomodation with the Remfs from KAF.
0900 - 2100 get Mortared.
2300 - Fly to Brize Norton via an hours refuelling in Cyprus

1200 - Pub lunch with family - then six weeks of POTL.

Id rather endure a shit 24hrs with everyone else, than six weeks on your own wondering why no-one else thinks what I think.

LANDSO 3209 "just a guide" according to certain fuckwit CO's!
 
#15
and just to add to it, I then went onto a non deployable brigade job for a year where no one of my rank or above had done a teeth arms tour since Suez by all accounts and was ommitted from the circular regarding medal and homecoming parades.

Now irrespective of anything else, the Army's ability to treat people well seems shocking. Christ knows how they'd treat someone who'd ballsed up in theatre, or didnt have the nouse to seek out their own treatment for PTSD.

If its an afternoon on a beach that grips your shit about tours might i suggest you didnt have a hard enough tour. and that you therefor suck up the torment of not having a hot shower and sleeping in a draughty room for the sake of the bloke that wont spill his thoughts to anyone at all if he doesnt get shitfaced and emotional with the people who got him through it at the earliest safe opportunity.
 
#16
It was fantastic:

Dark o'clock. Dumped off in a hangar next to airfield for 3 hours. Dark and very cold. No hot water, no lights in toilets. Stripped of uniform and told to put on beach wear despite the fact it was freezing. Crap coffee, no food except 100s of packets of M&Ms. Very cold/draughty bunk beds ( the whole plane load in one room so obviously no sleep was had)
0730 hrs. Bussed to breakfast
0830 hrs. Bussed to enclosed military beach - still freezing
0900 hrs. Swim test in freezing water
0910 hrs - 1500 hrs. Sat on beach full of male soldiers (not my thing) on a cold, windy (albeit slightly sunny) day. Too cold for water sports, nothing else to do
1500 hrs. Bussed to Bloodhound. Placed into a dormitory in a bunk bed. No hot water
Evening. Very basic and not very tasty BBQ (not a real one, you queued up in cookhouse for the food) followed by a borderline funny comedian and an average pub band.
Absolutely no atmosphere in entertainment room although I was permitted to drink 2 whole cans of beer.
2300 hrs. Still no hot water so had a cold shower and went to my bunk bed in the 20 odd man room
Early morning. Still no hot water. Breakfast and bussed to airport to fly to UK

My thoughts on it? An absolute waste of everybody's time and a sham so the Army can say they are looking after us all by helping us decompress before we go home and wreck towns/batter our wives.
You should have been on the one for Herrick 4. There was a mega piss up, bit of scrapping and loads of *******. Granted, it was all man-on-man action but the OC's seemed to enjoy it.......as did the young Tom being spit-roasted.
 
#17
Great idea, great facilites . The down side is the rigid approach to the beer 4 cans per man, I'm sure a bit of common sense and allow us to police ourselves a little more. Being escorted to the shop by some young squaddies wearing red polo shirts just in case you pollute the RAF at Akrotiri is a little insulting. It is usually for 24 hour's and if your with the guy's you were on tour with then it's ok.
 
#18
h4- No limit on beer just a 6 hr bar. no entertainment so pissed on each other. no bedtime. Mega
h9- Bosna type 4 can rule. good entertainment, bedtime. Ok
h15- 4 cans or bottle of wine. bedtime, the cnuts even closed the welfare at half ten. Shit shit shit.
 
#19
I spent a long time sussing out those who didn't drink and buying and selling raffle tickets.

I drank 2 bottles of wine and the radiographer passed out on the table. The lab tech slammed the bed and was found by a kind major asleep naked on the square. She put him back on his widdled bed.

I went for an agonising piss in the night and jumped back in bed only to realise I was lost & I'd jumped on the sleeping SSM. I retraced my steps only to end up back in bed with the SSM again!

The next day he told me it would be 'our little secret'.

BBQ? Comedian? Someone did mention it but I don't remember it.

The beach was nice but I spent most of the time in a bar that we (the piss heads) had infiltrated before we were asked to leave.

It was a very busy tour and there was steam to let off. I have mixed feelings. It was great that we were treated like adults and noone went beyond 'naughty'. At the time I just wanted to get home and it felt like an inconvenience.

Retrospectively I admit there was something cathartic about the experience so I'll give it the thumbs up. I suppose though it is all dependent on your CoC and how they allow you to utilise the time. You can't decompress if you have people imposing rules on how you should off gas. All I wanted was to get pissed. That was secretly allowed so cheers Colonel for that, job done, benefit felt.
 
#20
Got on flight knowing not a soul.
Got head down.
Read book.
Slept.
Arrived in Cyprus and saw a bunch of guys who obviously did know each other be led away.
Stayed with the R and R bunch, had a fag or two.
Got back on aircraft and home to see the missus praising my own ability to lie through my teeth.

Both times.

Absolutely pointless for IAs who span tours.
 
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