Thanks To Jason Mojica
Vicefake Afghanistan village
Two members of the fake Taliban lie “dead” after B Company stormed their fort by blowing a hole in the wall using a mortar.
The missions start with a briefing where the senior paras have the day’s activities mapped out. I don’t remember Yoko Ono being there, but apparently she was (right).
The guy posing is a Royal Marine in charge of the various training exercises. He would tip us off whenever a huge explosion was about to happen.
This is Sergeant Major Adam Proud. He was the first member of B Company we met and he runs the show. He’s great at yelling at people and keeping morale high during the boring bits where you’re lying on gravel for three hours waiting for explosions and shooting to wake you up.
These explosions are fucking loud. On our first night there I had to sleep on the floor in a room filled with 90 paras. I shivered so much it was like I was breakdancing in my sleeping bag. I passed out from the cold and was woken by the sound of one of these going off outside the window. All my life I’ve had problems getting up in the morning, but since that day I’m up before the birds.
These are built to resemble forts that the British army use in Helmand. At night they are not very warm so you have to take straw from the fields to sleep on.
These Gurkhas pretended to be Taliban fighters. One highlight was when they re-enacted a suicide bombing.
Each backpack weighs more than your sofa. If you’re unlucky enough to be carrying the IED identification equipment then your backpack weighs more than two of your sofas.
After marching for 30 miles in freezing cold, lying in ditches and eating only five boiled sweets, the full English breakfast you get is what I imagine the first meal God serves you in heaven is like: eggy bread, fried bread, bacon, sausage, eggs, and then Coco Pops for afters, with eight cups of tea to keep you from falling asleep in your food.
This dog is trained to attack anybody in civilian clothing so we had to be super-careful around it. It had been caught up in a really nasty gun battle in Helmand last year.
Sadly, we never got to see this being fired. The main weapons used were SA-80s that had been modified to fire blanks.
And after breakfast, which could be at any time between 4 AM and 12 PM, you’d be off again on another four-hour hike across beautiful fields filled little lambs, shells, and unexploded mortars. We made our trip into a film which you can see on VBS.TV in a month or so. * L.T.F.D means “Living the Fucking Dream” and is a shout-out to Sergeant Dave Etok.