Classification: NATO/ISAF UNCLASSIFIED - RELEASABLE FOR INTERNET TRANSMISSION
 
RAF Police Associations
 
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your generosity in sending welfare boxes to the RAF Police men and women currently serving in Afghanistan.  Whilst conditions for most of us here in Kandahar are reasonably comfortable, it is touching to know that you are thinking of us, particularly as we approach the festive period.   Your gifts have been distributed to the two dozen or so RAFP who are serving in several locations across Afghanistan. 
 
We are employed across a range of tasks, including Force Protection, SIB, ATSy, CI, InfoSy, Counter Narcotics and training Afghan National Police and the ranks range from A/Cpl to Sqn Ldr.  This demonstrates the broad range of capabilities that the RAFP can provide; indeed our coalition partners often express surprise at the range of posts that we fill.  Needless to say we are all very busy - but enjoying the challenges of the mission.
 
Once again, sincere thanks for the parcels and I wish you and your families well.
 
Kind regards
 
Darren
 
Darren Sutton
D SUTTON
OF-3 (Sqn Ldr)
SO2 INFOSEC/HQ SyO
RC(S)



Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
The Festive season will soon be upon us and things here at KAF continue in much the same vain as before, except that, as I write, we are in the middle of a massive thunder storm; so much for winter sunshine and escaping the British winter gloom!  Many thanks to all of you who have continued to send us welfare boxes; we are still passing on the goodies to our brethren throughout Op Herrick.  The parcels do make all the difference when another night shift rolls around and, judging by the contents, you all seem to know just what we need whilst out here "doing our bit" for Queen & Country.
 
The comings and goings here continue to amuse all involved, not least my abortive attempts to do a Rapiscan Radiation Check & welfare visit to our man in Kabul (Cpl Marv Joyce).  It all started on Monday of last week, I was all ready to go, sat on the plane eagerly anticipating my first visit to the capital.  Unfortunately, an unserviceable aircraft soon put paid to that.  "No problem", thought I, "I'll try again tomorrow", so, back to work.
 
Tuesday, all booked on and ready to go again.  This time, I got on board and all seemed to be going well, a quick stop a Camp bastion to drop off and collect other passengers and then away to Kabul, about 1 1/2 hours away.  Three hours later we touched down, a fellow passenger looked quizzically out of the window, then back at me and asked, "Are we back at KAF?"  Not quite believing it, I too looked out of the window and thought, "Do they build all their airports the same here?"  It soon dawned on me that we were, in fact, back where we had started; apparently, there was too much fog and snow at Kabul and we were unable to land, they just didn't tell us though!  Climbing back on the bus to be taken back to the PHF (Passenger Handling Facility), Aerial, one of our drivers, said, "Why are you back?  Broken the plane again?"  Hmmmmmmmmm.  Also, the rain had started and what rain it was.  The PHF, a rather large tent, leaks like the proverbial colander and water was now making slow but steady progress across the floor, as there are no drains!  If you've ever tried to sweep back the sea, you'll have some appreciation of what we were trying to do.  We managed to get the power cables for the Rapiscan machine up just as the next downpour came; now that would have made our job here much more interesting.
 
So, the next day and another go.  The etd for the flight was 2120 hrs, so I helped Cpl Ash Paget with the check-in for the later Tri-Star.  As we processed the passengers through, I turned to Ash and said, "That's not mist out there is it?"  "No, it must be the fumes from the air blowers", and on we went.  A passenger then came back in from the smoking area and said, "Have you seen the fog?"  Sure enough, on going outside, the airfield was completely closed in by thick fog; nothing was going to fly that night!  So, after all that, I decided that it was a lost cause and that, for some reason, the fates had conspired against me and I was to stay at KAF for the foreseeable future.  Lo and behold, the next day (when I wasn't booked onto a flight to go anywhere), the weather was perfect and every single plane took off and landed on time, in every location within Theatre!
 
Here is the 'manning' update for our happy band as it stands:
 
On 19 Dec we bid farewell to Cpl Kev Canavan who, following R&R in the UK, will be going to Basra to join up with his TPW comrades.  Bye Kev, take care and thanks for the laughs.  Kev will be replaced by Cpl Dan Fraser (also TPW) who will complete 2 months with us here.
 
On 5 Jan, we will be supplemented by 4 more upstanding members of the RAF's finest following a manpower review in which it was discovered that we were under-manned for the task that we are required to fulfil.  So, in come Cpls Sheehan (Lyneham), Heffernan (Brize Norton), Donaldson (Corsham) and Heyward (Waddington).  In answer to a number of you, still no females (although, Marv does like his hair care products!).  Speaking of whom, we have been notified that Marv is, in fact, to be replaced by Cpl Helen Dallenger in March so, if and when you send out boxes after then, some female 'home comforts' would go down a treat.  Or, if you send them before then, I'm sure that Marv will give them a good home.
 
February is a busy month for changeovers, FS Paul Symons leaves first, to be replaced by FS 'Scouse' Fitzpatrick (Cosford), then it's my turn, replacement Sgt Rich 'Aitch' Aitchison (Aldergrove), then Cpl Mark Shaw leaves at the end of the month, replacement Cpl Mark Wooler (Brampton/Wyton/Henlow).
 
Again, many thanks for all your support; you are all everything that is good about the RAF Police family.
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all.
 
Sgt Rodge Blackburn