We were withdrawn to Shiaba Airfield, where we reformed under A Coy, er, Y Coy leadership. I went back to my old peace time role of being Adam's driver, and almost immediately felt the presence of the TA management. My first task was given to all the drivers at 5 minutes notice, to 'mount up and go'. No indication of how long, what for, what kit, where to, etc. We wizzed along in line through the camp in the dark to a bit of random tarmac and queued up to.... wash. Just a simple jet hose wash, not a proper decon wash. As each vehicle finished it just disappeared off into the dar, and since few people knew where we were by this stage it took a while for everyone to find their way back.
At least it was exciting. Things got very dull...
We sat around being bored a lot. Luckily I'd put some books onto my palm pilot, so I was saved there. Mostly people sat around talking. The Pizza Hut and Burger King trucks were still there, and a few huts with internet connections. An EFI was open but just sold the usual soap, soft drinks and cigarrettes.
Pete came up with this one, it had a few of us in hysterics for an hour or so. That's how bad it got...
At last we had a washdown task! Equipped with backpack sprays just like the ones you get for spraying plants with insectides (basically because they were the backpack sprays you get for spraying plants with insecticides) and firemans hoses connected to a waterpipe on the hard standing in front of the ferry. The vehicles were going to Germany, and the Germans had decided that, since there was a chance that Saddam Hussain had chemical weapons, the vehicles had to be cleaned...
The sprays were filled with some goo to get rid of any dangerous slime, this was sprayed on into all the nooks and crannies, and the hoses used to rinse them off. There were a lot of vehicles, mostly recce tanks and APCs. One by one the hoses ripped and tore until we had only one left.
Who are these bunch of tramps? Off shift kipping on bits of cardboard and dead hoses and any other rubbish.
I can't quite remember what the wheels were doing there...
This photo (of mine) was used by the Evening Standard much later, but I didn't pursue them far enough for it.
First the vehicles
Then us; first pints in Chilwell. Not as nice as they could have been, NAAFIs eh?
Even army compounds look nice
Home sweet home - how green is that?!
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