In 2004 I had the pleasure to be told by my boss, Flt Lt Graeme Bell, that I would be going to Basrah Air Station in Iraq for four months.

At the time there was the occasional mortar attack on the station, and I would be there in the hottest part of the year - what fun!

After a small delay at Brize Norton we left in an RAF passenger aircraft for Al-Udeid. There we transferred to a C130 Hercules for an 'interesting' landing at Basrah - at night with no lights on in the aircraft!!

Well I can honestly say that I didn't enjoy it, but I am glad I went, as it is one of the few places I have been to where it was a real job, and a worthwhile one.
JHF Engineeers and Support Staff
My first job was as part of the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq), as the Flight Sergeant in charge of aircraft spares support for the Chinooks, Pumas and Gazelles. All our equipment was stored in tents, with the sensitive electronic items held in air-conditioned portacabins. On the right are some of my staff, pictured in the 'Camel's Toe Bar' posing on an Iraqi tank.

Have a look at a satellite view of

Basrah Air Station

The view from the top of the old airport admin building, showing the tents and portacabins used to store the spares to support the helicopter fleet. The brick building behind had no proper electricity and was supplied by two generators that often broke down. Conditions were primitive and the air conditioning ineffective.

The building housed my staff, and the helicopter line engineers. I worked from here for the first two months of my tour until I moved up to the Bulk Fuel Installation to take over the RAF supply element of the Joint Support Unit Basrah. Back to Top