Gateshead Reserve Soldier Helps Sustain the Troops in Afghanistan - Pte Ian Coulthard
Private Ian Coulthard Royal Logistic Corps, 43, from Gateshead, serving with 100 Pioneer Squadron part of 168 Regiment RLC, attached to 3 Close Support Logistic Regiment has deployed on Operation Herrick 18 in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. TA solider Ian, who has spent twelve years on and off with the reserves between the Pioneer Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is a brick layer by trade, and also keeps busy by maintaining properties and restoring furniture. He spends a lot of time hiking and wild camping and has made a series of videos about foraging and sourcing food from the wild. 3 CSLR is responsible for supplying troops in outlying bases with essential supplies through convoys known as Combat Logistic Patrols. These patrols transit Helmand Province where the soldiers are no strangers to the threats of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and fire from insurgents. The patrols are also recovering equipment from the bases in support of the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan. Patrols are commonly in excess of 24 hours and involve long driving periods and very little rest. The roads in Afghanistan vary in condition from bumpy tracks to tarmac roads and are heavily trafficked by the local population making their living. The patrols must be considerate to other traffic and the inhabitants of the villages we pass through as to not disrupt their daily life. The deployed element of the Regiment is nearly 300 personnel strong, with over 10% female and 6% from foreign and commonwealth countries. 10% is made up from elements of the TA from the Welsh Transport Regiment based in Cardiff and 168 Pioneer Regiment based in Grantham. The TA soldiers are exceptionally well integrated and bring unique skills that enhance the capability of the unit.
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