Not really educational but a reflection. With the Chilcott enquiry published today, I thought about my own experiences of the Iraq War (or the third Iraq war as it was known by the locals). I remember thinking ‘this isn’t a good idea’ when it kicked off and worrying about my military colleagues who deployed on Op Telic 1 (the war fighting phase although it was all a bit hairy). On my tours there and to Afghanistan, I used to write newsletters which were meant to be a bit of light hearted look at the British Army machine and how it worked and interacted (or not) with the locals. I’ve just re-read them & smiled to myself as we were already wondering ‘what on earth was going on’ and ‘what are we meant to be doing’ in 2004/5, let alone some 11 years later.
I’m going to hopefully share them now. I think they still read okay. They are when I deployed on Op Telic 5 in 2004/5. This was after I had deployed on Op Telic 2 in 2003, just after the war fighting had supposedly finished.
On reflection, a lot of my operational experiences was mundane primary care. It also involved doing favours and being continually amazed by how the logistical support provided to the US troops was second to none compared to our hand to mouth existence.