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Now for something slightly different

November 6, 2010

My name is Flt Lt Jim Bradshaw and I’m an alcoholic. Wait, wrong blog. I’m an Air Traffic Controller at Camp Bastion and I’ve been here for 2 months. I’m based at RAF Northolt in the UK and it is safe to say that this a little bit different. I’m used to business jets not Apaches, and C17s.

Our tour length out here is 4 months, so we’re the lucky ones as a lot of people I’ve met seem to be doing longer, especially the army types. For us controllers this tour is one of the best jobs we can get as Bastion is the third busiest UK operated airfield, behind Gatwick and Heathrow and it’s a fact that we bang on about at every opportunity. It makes us feel special. Our shifts are 12 hours on 12 hours off with 24 hours off when we change from days into nights. So while we get our down time it does take its toll, we spend our days constantly tired and I imagine that is a feeling shared by all those in Afghanistan. But it’s not something that any of us complain about. In fact I’m proud that we all operate under such pressures and still do the job as well as we do.

Out of work there isn’t a great deal that goes on. This place isn’t exactly central London. We do have a pizza hut and a KFC has just been put in, which gives us a little taste of home, although taste maybe a touch generous, I’ve never had pizza hut that tastes like this! I spend some time in the gym, mostly to stave off the inevitable weight gain from the above fast food and the US feeder that we have over on the flight line. (They have cookies and cream ice cream. It’s the little things.)

So that’s me and more to come over the next few weeks.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. patsy morgan permalink
    November 6, 2010 19:08

    good luck with your tour of duty , has they all call it have a safe and interesting time we will be thinking of youlove patsy x

  2. November 6, 2010 19:25

    Hi Jim,

    First to fight for the right,
    And to build the Nation’s might,
    And The Army Goes Rolling Along
    Proud of all we have done,
    Fighting till the battle’s won,
    And the Army Goes Rolling Along.

    Refrain: Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
    The Army’s on its way.
    Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
    For where e’er we go,
    You will always know
    That The Army Goes Rolling Along.
    HOOAH!
    I love this song!

  3. November 6, 2010 19:37

    good luck with what you are doing keep safe were all proud of our british soldiers,god bless you all.take care,..denise..xx

  4. November 6, 2010 19:57

    good luck with your tour duty take care from susan xx

  5. November 6, 2010 20:31

    Hi Jim…enjoyed your blog and your sense of humour out there.
    I have been sending out parcels to make sure you guys get some treats and about 230 have been sent since Sept. My son is in RAF…based at Lossiemouth…so my very best wishes to you and your colleagues..Veronica..x

  6. November 6, 2010 21:13

    Very much enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I live in West Drayton so we’re sort of neighbours in the UK! First time I’ve heard you’re the third busiest UK operated airfield, behind Gatwick and Heathrow, so very well done. I’ll help spread the word on that one.

    I look forward to the next blog from you. Keep up the good work. Sue x

  7. Pamela Gorrill permalink
    November 6, 2010 23:21

    Hello Jim,, Enjoyed reading your post,( how is the pizza different?? whats the KFC like?? Keep up the good work Jim,, and STAY SAFE luv from Pam x ( In Canada)

  8. November 7, 2010 12:19

    Hiya Jim thanks for your blog , keep up the good work and keep safe you are all in my prayers and my thoughts, take care of one another , love Irene here in merseyside U.K.

  9. November 7, 2010 12:49

    Hya Jim , we r so proud of you all and we r alway’s thinking of u out there , enjoyed reading about u , take care love and best wishes , Christine and family xxxxx

  10. nldjohn permalink
    November 7, 2010 13:35

    A cushy job for you Jim, give yourself a treat and visit a FOB and experience the workconditions out there…..no KFC or Pizzahut! But keep up the good work!

  11. Kelly fulford permalink
    December 8, 2010 03:36

    Hello Jim this sounds very similar to what my sister is doing (she is also in the RAF based in camp bastion) sending support to all of u out there and a safe tour.
    Thinking of all you and look forward to future blogs!
    Kelly Fulford

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