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  1. ITV Report

Supplying East Anglian troops in Afghanistan

ITV Anglia has been filming in Afghanistan with the Royal Anglian Regiment Photo: ITV Anglia

ITV Anglia reporter Kate Prout and camera operator Chris Warner have been in Afghanistan reporting on the region's troops serving there.

It's 3.30am and the temperature at Camp Bastion is finally bearable. A refreshing warm wind blows in from the Hindu Kush mountains that form a ridge along one side of camp. Making their way out of Bastion's main gates are more than a hundred vehicles.

Some of them are armoured, with bomb proof attachments that look like snow ploughs on the front. But many are local lorries - so called 'jingly' trucks because of the amount of bells and ornaments attached to them - which are taking supplies out to the dozens of Forward operating Bases and Patrol Bases right across Helmand Province.

Inside the iso containers on the back is food, drink, vehicle parts, body armour, toiletries and mail. In fact anything you might need if you're stationed in rural Afghanistan for three months or more. They're well protected because any disruption to this supply chain would have serious repercussions further down the line.

An army marches on its stomach, after all. Later in the day we are witness to the Chinook pilot's extraordinary skills. In a technique called 'under-slung loading' they hover about six feet from the ground to pick up four tonne parcels before heading off to their destination. Some of the lads on the ground tell us they occasionally get a bump on the head from a Chinook wheel. And the amount of dust the downdraft produces is something else. I'm glad I'm wearing a helmet for our filming so there are no worries about bad-hair day. Throughout our visit I'm amazed at how efficiently everything runs.

Under-slung Chinook helicopters involved in the troop supply chain in Afghanistan Credit: Chris Warner/ITV Anglia

Admittedly we've been in the country for nine years or more so the armed forces have had plenty of practice at smooth operations but given that this is still a warzone it's pretty impressive. Finally, a quick word about ration packs. No more corned beef hash and sponge pudding. These days it's all Mediterranean tuna bake and paella, lots of cereal bars and, more excitingly, a minature bottle of tabasco. Mine has come home with me and has pride of place in the kitchen.

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