News from 3YORKS: Dec 09 - Mastiff Group
Another week down and the Mastiff group are maintaining their Op Tempo. The nature of the ground around Babaji means that routes in and out are limited at best. Essential access is provided by the KRH and 3 Yorks contingent who are responsible for protection and re-supply tasks. This week we have had a little help from Task Force Thor, an American route clearance Platoon. The chance to work with an outside unit was a good opportunity for the soldiers of the Mastiff Group to see how other nations work and the type of equipment they have available - The American 'Buffalo' is a unique piece of equipment which locates and removes Explosive Devices without the need for soldiers to dismount from the protection of their vehicles.
Given the size of the area, you might have been forgiven for thinking the locals may not be too pleased to see a 30 Tonne Mastiff driven by a Yorkshireman coming down their high street. Far from it, the locals take great faith from our presence in the area and the soldiers have been brilliant at building up a rapport with the families we come across by way of re-assurance that we are here to help. It is a regular sight to have the younger children giving the thumbs up to the lads as they drive past and when ever we stop the vehicles are surrounded by kids wanting sweets. It is reminiscent of a scene from any exercise on Salisbury Plain when the CQ wagon arrives with Haribo and cans of coke.
The soldiers of the Mastiff group are making a good name for themselves and to a man have performed to a level whereby they are earning the respect of the Battle Group as a whole. The work we are doing here is very important to establish an area of security where locals can enjoy the freedom to get their lives back on track after what was a hard and costly summer, not only for the British Army but for the people who's front door steps the fighting took place on.