Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The Anglians on patrol

It's probably wrong to liken the fields of Afghanistan to the Fens but speeding over the arid patchwork of fields in the back of Merlin helicopter that's what I'm reminded of.

Men, women and children are toiling in the fields with the occasional goat scampering nearby. Children are playing in the canal and it's hard to remember that you're in a country torn apart by eleven years of war.

Kate Prout in a Merlin helicopter over Afghanistan Credit: ITV Anglia

But as we land at Patrol Base Khalang the military vehicles and HESCO bomb fences make it clear this is not quite the rural idyll.

We're spending two days with the 1st Royal Anglians and they couldn't be more friendly or helpful. Meals are eaten in the tented cookhouse, showers are taken using bottled water and the toilet arrangements...well let's just leave those to the imagination.

Most days B company don 40kg of body armour and head out into the nearby villages with the local Afghan police. Chris, my cameraman, and I are sweating buckets just standing in our kit, never mind walking for three hours.

ITV Anglia camerman Chris Warner at work Credit: ITV Anglia

The ops tent and the Sanger watchtowers have cameras that keep an eye on the surrounding countryside 24 hours a day. Just two years ago there was plenty of 'kinetic' activity here which means the troops would have been fighting the insurgents directly.

And the area would have been full of IEDs. Today, the village is in the hands of the Afghan security forces and the British army is moving out in order to leave them to it. Which means that the Anglians will move on to pastures new, wherever they are needed.

More on this story