front-line fitness: getting gym kit to uk troops in afghanistan
Daily life on the front line continues.
Although their work is already very practical, exercise is one thing to help them cope.
Keeping healthy is a way for many troops to vent, but it is not always easy to do in very basic and challenging conditions at times.
However, it has become much easier in recent months thanks to Lieutenant Gareth Davis, who flies back and forth in Afghanistan, transports kits, installs them and helps soldiers and women
\"There are not many people on the front line,\" he told BBC News . \".
\"People think, \'Oh, they must be drawing, it\'s all cool, \'which is to some extent.
But they are still in danger and often live in some very bad environment, so they need to keep a good state of body and mind to deal with the situation. \"WO Davies -
Two civil engineers
To provide fitness equipment, I went to the most remote corner of Afghanistan.
They take a helicopter, although sometimes heavier items like a treadmill are moved by the road, and he and his team will arrive by plane to install them.
The Department of Defense has funded these supplies, but used to rely on external companies to choose what to send and where to send them.
\"There\'s a kit, but it\'s not enough, or it\'s not appropriate --
It doesn\'t make sense to send something like a treadmill to the forward position.
They do not have the capacity of the generator to operate, and even if they do, they cannot keep the generator clean or maintained.
\"So I said, \'Let\'s stop doing this and let\'s see all the other options for things that don\'t require any power --sand-
Fill punching bag, skipping rope, hanging training system by gravity.
\"I called it the gym in the box.
It consists of many lightweight kits that can stay in the theater before the last soldier comes home.
The box is also cheap.
He estimated an average of about 600.
Even a lot less than a large project like rowing.
\"Exercise is something everyone can do for themselves,\" said WO Davies . \".
\"Many of them live in very severe conditions and they spend £ 24/7 with their friends --
This is fierce.
\"Exercise gives them some personal time that they need urgently.
It can also help eliminate frustration
They are young people, and sometimes they need.
\"For people in remote areas, my presence also reminds them that someone is thinking about them and their needs.
\"The secretary of state said he did not want the welfare of the Army to decline during the withdrawal, which is a large part of it.
This was taken home when WO Davies made the \"thank you\" email he received for work.
One of them, Captain G Thorne, commander of the Lashkar mobile operating base, wrote: \"due to unpredictable and demanding hours of work, detachment members were unable to use the main gym. . .
All members of the detachment take fitness seriously, which means that the arrival of the gym kit in your department has undoubtedly boosted morale.
Another email from WO2 Gerry McQuade, working with the Institute of Defense (NDA)
Training Afghan forces wrote: \"We are just like the forgotten orphans, just a visit and a visit. . .
The equipment we received is [gone]
There is a long way to go in improving the morale of our young soldiers, especially at this stage of the withdrawal and closure campaign.
\"Wo Davis also set up a gym for Afghan soldiers and translators and trained a local teacher.
But one of his proudest achievements is to equip the Royal Air Force gunners who protect the camp fortress.
They lived in the guard tower for six days at a time, and there was almost nothing to fill them up-duty hours.
An email from Wg Cdr Andy Jones wrote: \"As you can imagine, staying in a tower for six days is a challenge, anything we can do helps to maintain the professional spirit and focus of men.
\"Many gunmen enjoy their ability to train and use the equipment. . .
At the same time as the tower, make sure they achieve their fitness goals.
\"One such goal may be to take part in Aces in Afghanistan, a dream 24-hour tennis tournament for Wo Davis with people from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Will be held on June 29-
This is Armed Forces Day
It will raise money for the soldiers who support us, a charity that sends care packages to the troops.
\"It could be a little hotter than Wimbledon, about 44 degrees,\" he joked . \".
\"There are about 24 people attending, so if you do math, there\'s not much time to sleep.
Wo Davis said he was \"very honored\" to have the role, but admitted that he was under pressure at times.
\"There are only three of us in Afghanistan, and we are out at least twice a week.
\"We find ourselves in some tricky places.
Once, I took part in an unplanned walking patrol.
We were unable to continue using the vehicles, but I was determined to get the equipment there.
\"I found some people from the base and each of us took one or two fitness equipment with our hands.
He added: \"I did make some bold statements when I accepted the job, but I can say calmly, every service person in front of them gets some kind of fitness equipment so they can take care of themselves.