Parcels to Unknown soldiers in 16AA not encouraged

Soldier Magazine
SUPPORTERS of the Airborne Forces have been urged not to send parcels to unnamed soldiers when 16 Air Assault Brigade deploys on Op Herrick 13 in September.
Unsolicited goodwill packets create a huge strain on the postal system in Helmand and Colchester Garrison Commander Col Tom Fleetwood has asked members of the public to show their support in different ways.
He said: “Most people are aware that logistic supply in an operational environment is limited and dangerous, particularly in Afghanistan because the last leg of the journey is usually by helicopter.
“The decision to accept only personal mail will enable the prioritisation of resources for transporting essential combat supplies as well as personal mail."
People can back the deployed troops by donating to SSAFA Forces Help’s Operational Welfare Fund at
Local charities will also be accepting donations. Contact Louise Schenk-Cooper on 01206 815127 for an information pack.
A good point that was driven home to me in a lesson from one of our Pln Sgts who was there last year. As he said, pretty much everything has to be dragged in by road and that's an IED risk to the convoys. Not really worth it for a box of wet wipes. That was the gist of it anyway.
One unit got around this by naming one of the officers as the 'host recipient'. The unit received so much crap, that he lost his own personal mail in the deluge. I am told BFPO continued to send the mail onto him well after his return from ops and he was still receiving container loads of shampoo etc.


Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I agree with not transporting 'unnamed' parcels. We were rarely in Bastion, but the odd occassion we got back, we had to wade through, lets be brutally, brutally honest, crap, to find the stuff we had actually bought / been sent by a loved one.
When we came back in, a few days after Christmas, it was obscene. Truly obscene.

I think a degree of realism and honesty is required and people need to admit that the majority of stuff we get sent, gets chucked in a box to rot, then finally binned. Thanks to everyone that sends us the parcels, as the goodwill is not lost on us, and the gesture is truly appreciated, but so much wasted transportation space for some really badly thought through gifts / supplies.

It's a tough one to call, as you feel like a bastard for saying it, but it is true. We got to the stage where, because we'd be out for months at a time, when we came back, we had so many parcels from randoms, we stopped even opening the ones that weren't directly addressed to us, and simply left them there for the next lot that took over. :(

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