Kelly and Kevin
“If he isn’t breaking into my locker and ripping up every T-Shirt I brought out here with me, you’ll be sure to find him dragging one of the C-IED searchers across an ICP by their goggles!”
As I reported last week; 104 Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit (TMWDSU) have now left Afghanistan and replaced by 103 TMWDSU. New teams and new characters, both human and canine; all with interesting stories to tell. One such team is Lance Corporal Kelly Wolstencroft and her dog, Kevin – yes, Kevin!
Kelly and Kevin have agreed to tell their story and keep a diary of their time in Helmand. In the first of these articles, Kelly tells you a little about herself and what she does; as well as all about her canine companion – “the most mischievous dog in the whole of Helmand!”
‘Hi my name is L/Cpl Wolstencroft (Kelly) I am 25 years old and I have been in the Army for 4 years as a dog handler for the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. I studied Animal Care/Management for 4 years at Myerscough College before I joined up in 2007 and was posted to 103 Military Working Dog SQN in Germany where I am currently still based. My first tour of Afghanistan (Herrick 9) was in 2008/9 where I was a Vehicle Search (VS) Dog handler. This time around I have deployed on Herrick 14 as a High Assurance Search Dog (HASD) handler and my Dog is called “Kevin” who may I add is the most mischievous dog in the whole of Helmand!! I’m sure you will agree after reading all of his antics which are bound to end up on my blog throughout our tour together! If he isn’t breaking into my locker and ripping up every T-Shirt I brought out here with me, you’ll be sure to find him dragging one of the C-IED searchers across an ICP by their goggles. We have been a team for the past 8 months and have previously deployed to Jordan for an MRX in December last year so like true partners in crime we know each other well and know what annoys one another… although this doesn’t stop him doing any of them!
Midnight on Saturday the 5th of March 2011 we deployed from Germany together to start the gruelling journey to Afghanistan on a C17. We arrived in Camp bastion on Sunday night on the 6th at 20:15 where we were met by 104 SQN (the SQN we were to take over from), who took Kevin and the rest of the dogs to the kennels while we sorted ourselves out into bed spaces etc. After doing the normal arrivals paperwork I got my hands on a SAT phone and managed to give my Girlfriend Kate and my Mum Janet a quick call to let them know all was well.
The next morning I woke up and we went straight to the kennels to exercise the dogs, it was strange walking through Bastion again and seeing how much this place has grown since the last time I was here in 2008/9, we only had Bastion 1 back then and Bastion 2 was still under construction and mainly occupied by other nations, now in 2011 Bastion 2 is fully formed and Bastion 3 is established and growing by the day! As I walked around I seen things that were still in the same places that they were on Herrick 9, like the old kennels and the cook houses (tents) which was also quite strange because once I finished my tour back then I kind of put this place to the back of my mind, while all the time it’s all still been here and getting used in the same way while I was back home in barracks, on leave or on holiday… but it’s plain to see that even tho we had left, our job here was/is far from over! So here I am again to start the 6month and 21day tour all over again!’
To read Kelly’s full article and hear all about Kevin, click HERE, or on the image above.