Trooper Gallagher’s Adventures in Afghanistan
By Trooper Gallagher
21 October 2009
Hello I am Trooper Tim Gallagher and this is my story thus far:
After a long day of traveling and eating onboard the military transport, I landed on the 24th of September to a balmy 47 degrees Celsius outside. This is where my first tour and adventure began. The flurry of activity to follow over the next 2 days was astounding.
We left the ever-so-fun Departure Assistance Group files for the even better Arrival Assistance Group files at 2 AM, followed closely with pain by PowerPoint. These files contain all our personal documentation to assist with deployment. This took us all the way through to around 7 AM, when the sun began its relentless assault on my fair skin. When we got back to the big top tent we were all staying, everyone seemed very anxious to get going out to the Boardwalk, where the now infamous Tim Horton’s is located, and such to venture around and stretch their legs after the long haul over here.
The fact was that everyone already wanted to leave Kandahar Airfield for our new home out in the Forward Operating Base, and finally, after the standard 2 days of briefings I was sure happy to be leaving Kandahar Airfield. Just the feeling of leaving the ground makes me queasy, but this time it was different, freeing almost like a bird being freed from a cage. Landing is a different story altogether. Not exactly knowing how the Chinook landed was interesting, especially as I was at the back end of the bird. After I deplaned, it was an amazing feeling to be both back on solid ground and into the open air again.
As we were gaggling, we all got funnelled into this 3 walled room where Sergeant-Major Rick Stacey gave us the camp brief. Some key points stuck out in my mind that I don’t think will leave me, like “don’t let the shower water pass your gums or you’ll regret it.” Then a brief explanation regarding the after affects of drinking the water which turned out to be serious but altogether to comical to believe (I have yet to round up the nerves to test it).
The next few days turned into a blur for me. Between getting my bunk set up and the news that we were heading out to some foreign place that I could not find on a map if I tried.
The Sandy Hill is a nice place, quiet with friendly locals and, far too many shepherds for me to count. The food there was the best I’ve had in Afghanistan, probably because everyone cooked things how they liked it. The only problem there was the snakes; some kind of viper. I really don’t know which kind, but they were big and mean.
When I first arrived on the observation post, the 12e RBC Coyote crew was manning the mast, and they happened to be cleaning around the vehicle and tent area. When they moved the fridge, there it was! I watched as 2 screaming 12e RBC Troopers hacked away at this 2 and a half foot viper that made its home under the fridge. I thought it was hilarious; 2 12e RBC Troopers swinging away with golf clubs. How they got golf clubs in Afghanistan is a mystery to me.
The Sandy Hill itself was kind boring to say the least. It was my own fault, though, that I brought next to nothing for entertainment. For my off shift time, I did finish 5 books.
Back to where I am now, the relative comfort of the Forward Operating Base. I enjoy my time here. From 1 Troop, B Squadron thanks for reading and hello to all of our families. We’ll see you all soon!