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Camp Bastion: Eerie footage shows abandoned former British base in Afghanistan

Footage has emerged of the British army[1]‘s abandoned former base in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion, even as Taliban[2] forces gain a greater hold of the area. Stretches of sandy ground criss-crossed with rolls of barbed wire, concrete walls, radar towers and aircraft hangars are shown seemingly deserted at a camp which once held 10,000 British personel. The base was exited by British troops[3] after 13 years and formally handed over to Afghan government forces as a barracks for the Afghan National Army in October 2014. Plans for a possible commercial airstrip were also reported.

But footage from the BBC[4] shows an empty site. Meanwhile, reports from the region state that Taliban[5] forces control half of Helmand province, with the Islamist extremists winning Kanashin district as recently as July 30. Joe Glenton, a former soldier with the Royal Logistic Corps in Afghanistan, said the decision to re-invade Afghanistan had “re-energised the Taliban” and operations from Camp Bastion and similar bases “destabilised the entire region”.

“The presence of troops acted as a lighting rod for local resistance”, he told The Independent.

“The decision to re-invade – which we must understand was partially to offset our massive failure in Basra [in Iraq] – reenergised the Taliban and pulled in non-Taliban local fighters at the costs of thousands of British and Afghan dead and wounded.”

Mr Glenton said British politicians chose to ignore the advice of the SAS commanding officer, who told the government after a 2005 tour of Helmand that there was no insurgency in Helmand but an invasion would “give you one”.[6]

Referring to criticism that Camp Bastion was evacuated too early, Mr Glenton said: “We should have left earlier or, better, have never committed thousands of troops into a region we did not understand, with no plan, on behalf of the corrupt Karzai [President of Afghanistan] puppet regime.”

The strategic base in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, first set up in 2005 and rapidly expanded in 2006, was the biggest British overseas Armyrats © military base since the Second World War.

Camp Bastion cost 50m to fully build in 2006 and 300m to destroy it again eight years later.[7]

Meanwhile, combat operations in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of British 453 servicemen and women. Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said at the time of Camp Bastion’s closure that there was no guarantee Afghanistan would be stable and safe following the departure of western fighting forces.

The Ministry of Defence[8], which says that US soldiers are still training Afghan forces nearby, said in response to the new footage: “The UK has a long term commitment to build a more secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

“Though our combat mission ended in 2014, the UK continues to support the Government of Afghanistan through NATO s train, advise and assist mission, Resolute Support.

“The UK also provides substantial political, financial and development support.”

Camp Bastion: Eerie Footage Shows Abandoned Former British Base In AfghanistanReuse content[9]

References

  1. ^ British army (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Taliban (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ exited by British troops (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)
  5. ^ Taliban (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ “give you one”. (news.sky.com)
  7. ^ Camp Bastion cost (www.independent.co.uk)
  8. ^ The Ministry of Defence (modmedia.blog.gov.uk)
  9. ^ Reuse content (www.independent.co.uk)

British Army launches Reserve recruitment drive on the Isle of Man

The British Army is holding a recruitment drive across the Isle of Man from 25th July to 1st August to demonstrate the wide variety of paid opportunities to people seeking a challenge, adventure or training in their spare-time.

Members of the Isle of Man Army Reserve will be in Castletown, Port Erin, Ramsey, Peel, Onchan and Douglas on the 26th and 27th July to talk to the public about the opportunities available in the Army Reserve. A drill night will be held on the 27th July from 19:30-21:00 at the Army Reserve Centre in Lord Street Douglas where people interested in finding out more can come along and speak to local soldiers. The week-long recruitment drive will conclude with a display by the Red Devils on 31 July at 19:00 at the war memorial in Douglas. Seven different Army Reserve units/corps will be involved, including the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, 4th Battalion the Parachute Regiment, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, 146 Royal Logistics Corps, 6 Armyrats © Military Intelligence Battalion, 3 Medical Regiment and 75 Engineer Regiment. Major General John Crackett, Director Reserves, said: Too many young people aren t considering the Army Reserve because of false preconceptions: from thinking they don t have enough time to be a reservist to believing that they will have to join for a long time and it s difficult to leave when the reverse is true.

The Army Reserve should be a top choice for all those wanting to make the most of their spare time. This event in Mansfield will help encourage young people to have open and honest conversations with current Reservists about their experiences, discuss any reservations and consider all that The Army Reserve has to offer.

Staff Sergeant Ian Openshaw, 156 Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps, from Douglas, will be taking part in the week-long recruitment drive. He said: I have been in the Army Reserves for 20 years now and I have loved every minute of it. The Reserves has allowed me to travel the world, on both training exercises and operations, where I have made friends for life. The Reserves offers something for everyone, it is an amazing experience.

The recruitment surge is being held to support the British Army s new Reserve recruitment campaign – A Better You – after it was identified that over two thirds of 18-35 year olds felt that the amount of personal sacrifice, of which time is a major factor, was too high.1 With a time commitment from just 19 days a year, much of which is made up of short training evenings during the week, becoming an Army Reservist isn t the big time commitment some may initially imagine and the rewards are huge.

Did you know, as an Army Reserve soldier:

You have opportunities to travel overseas on exercises, sport and peacekeeping, from training in Kenya to supporting the UN in Cyprus.
You can take up adventurous training from mountaineering in the Himalayas, to sky-diving in Florida
You can earn an annual tax free bonus of up to 1,725 and could be eligible for a joining bonus of up to 2,300
You will get paid for all the time that you spend training and your daily pay goes up every year and with each promotion
You will be entitled to a non-contributory pension
You will get one day of paid holiday for every 10 days in training
You only need to commit to 19 days per year for national units and 27 days for regional units
There are over 200 different roles on offer in the Army Reserve such as musicians, carpenters, chaplains, teachers, HR specialists, engineers, vets and dog handlers
You can now gain an apprenticeship as an Army Reserve and the Army might even pay for you to get your LGV driving license, or to gain qualifications such as, City & Guilds qualifications

For more information about becoming an Army reservist, search Army Reserve.

ENDS

Recruitment drive for Army Reserves plus a parachute display

The Red Devils, parachute display team.

16:50 Friday 22 July 2016

The British Army is holding a recruitment drive across the Isle of Man next week. Members of the Isle of Man Army Reserve will be in Castletown, Port Erin, Ramsey, Peel, Onchan and Douglas on Tuesday and Wednesday to talk to the public about the opportunities available in the Army Reserve. The Army hasn t said exactly where in each town or village. iomtoday.co.im asked and a press officer hopes to have that information with us by Monday. The story will be updated when we get the information.

A drill night will be held on Wednesday from 7.30pm to 9pm at the Army Reserve Centre in Lord Street, Douglas, where people interested in finding out more can go along and speak to local soldiers. The recruitment drive will conclude with a display by the {http://www.reddevilsonline.com/|Red Devils parachute display team on Sunday, July 31, at 7pm at the war memorial in Douglas. Seven different Army Reserve units/corps will be involved, including the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster s Regiment, 4th Battalion the Parachute Regiment, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, 146 Royal Logistics Corps, 6 Armyrats © Military Intelligence Battalion, 3 Medical Regiment and 75 Engineer Regiment.

Major General John Crackett, director reserves, said: Too many young people aren t considering the Army Reserve because of false preconceptions: from thinking they don t have enough time to be a reservist to believing that they will have to join for a long time and it s difficult to leave when the reverse is true.

The Army Reserve should be a top choice for all those wanting to make the most of their spare time. This event will help encourage young people to have open and honest conversations with current Reservists about their experiences, discuss any reservations and consider all that The Army Reserve has to offer. Staff Sergeant Ian Openshaw, 156 Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps, from Douglas, will be taking part in the week-long recruitment drive. He said: I have been in the Army Reserves for 20 years now and I have loved every minute of it. The Reserves has allowed me to travel the world, on both training exercises and operations, where I have made friends for life. The Reserves offers something for everyone, it is an amazing experience.

The recruitment surge is being held to support the British Army s new Reserve recruitment campaign – A Better You – after it was identified that over two thirds of 18- to 35-year-olds felt that the amount of personal sacrifice, of which time is a major factor, was too high.

But the Army says the time commitment is a minimum of 19 days a year, much of which is made up of short training evenings during the week.

There are more than 200 different roles on offer in the Army Reserve such as musicians, carpenters, chaplains, teachers, HR specialists, engineers, vets and dog handlers

Army Reserve soldiers:

Have opportunities to travel overseas on exercises, sport and peacekeeping, from training in Kenya to supporting the UN in Cyprus.

Take up adventurous training from mountaineering in the Himalayas, to sky-diving in Florida

Earn an annual tax free bonus of up to 1,725 and could be eligible for a joining bonus of up to 2,300

Get paid for all the time that they spend training and daily pay goes up every year and with each promotion

Will be entitled to a non-contributory pension

Get one day of paid holiday for every 10 days in training

Need to commit to 19 days per year for national units and 27 days for regional units

Can now gain an apprenticeship as an Army Reserve and the Army might even pay for you to get your LGV driving licence, or to gain qualifications such as, City & Guilds qualifications

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