Page 40 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 40

   Sharpshooter practising at QAA ranges
It turns out the Australians are quite good at volleyball. And sledging
    Australians from QFPC on the high ground above the MFNDU
Life as the Qargha Force Protection Company
At the end of March 2019, A Coy, 1 RIFLES deployed on Op TORAL 8, together with some sniper and assault pioneer elements of S Coy, and headed for Camp Qargha (QAA) as the Qargha Force Protection Company (QFPC). This small and self-contained camp to the west of Kabul is surrounded by snow peaked mountains and sits at over 1800m. The fact that it is on the outskirts of Kabul, and at altitude means that we avoid the smog of the city, and also the rank-heavy HQs in the city centre!
The QFPC is a multi-national, multi-cap badge Coy consisting of 2 platoons of A Coy, 2 platoons of Australians (6 RAR), a multiple of Royal Irish Rangers and a whole range of atts and dets. The Coy is a unique sub-unit, from 3 different nations and 17 different capbadges, making up a total team of nearly 230 personnel. For some reason there was no appetite to send us to train in Australia pre-tour so our arrival in theatre was the first opportunity we had to work together as a Coy.
Everyday life in the camp follows a familiar rotation. Platoons rotate through QRF, Base Force
Protection (BFP) and Advisor Force Protection (AFP) tasks. Qargha exists to support the Marshal Fahim National Defense University (MFNDU) which houses various Afghan National Army training academies. The QFPC provides force protection to mentors at ANAOA (Afghan National Army Officers Academy) often referred to as “Sandhurst in the Sand”. We also support the other multinational teams that work with the Sgt-Major’s Academy, Command Staff College and the US-framework officer academy.
The Coy also provide the HQ element which gives the camp its own autonomy. Led by the QM(M) Taff Evans they do an amazing job to provide the RLS for a camp of 500 people and making sure that everyone else understands how hard our life in QAA is...
AFP is very much a junior NCO’s battle as node commanders are trusted to protect and assist high ranking officers in an unpredictable environment. The BFP element of the rotation is another bonus of Camp Qargha as it guarantees that the camp’s protection is consistently of the utmost quality –

   38   39   40   41   42