Spirits up as allies prepare Afghan offensive

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  1. Spirits up as allies prepare Afghan offensive
    By Lionel Barber in Helmand
    Published: January 28 2010 17:20 | Last updated: January 28 2010 17:20
    With the planned allied counter-offensive against the Taliban just weeks away, Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan, is heaving with activity.

    Hercules C-17 heavy transport aircraft roar in and out, while Chinook, Merlin and Puma helicopters kick up clouds of red dust. A deserted airstrip three years ago, Camp Bastion, in the violent Afghan province of Helmand, is today handling more cargo than London’s Gatwick airport and more traffic than Luton.

    “If we fight in Helmand this summer, we will give the Taliban a hell of a pasting,” says one British official.