Life of luxury left behind at Camp Bastion

0
Have your say

LIFE at Prince Harry’s austere new temporary home at Camp Bastion could hardly be more different to the luxuries on offer at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral, where the Royal Family enjoy silver service, gourmet food and chauffeur-driven cars.

At the army base in Aghanistan, Harry will eat his “scoff” in the “cookhouse”, “bed down” in his “pit space” and drop his own “dhobi”, or washing, at the laundrette.

And as Camp Bastion is completely alcohol-free, the only “brew” that will pass his lips will be tea.

Harry turns 28 next Saturday, but instead of a night out at an exclusive London club with his posh pals, he has few treats available beyond a fresh coffee, perhaps, or a slice of pizza from the bizarrely out-of-place Pizza Hut container.

Of course, he might well be on duty, waiting to scramble to his Apache helicopter.

The royal – like other members of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps – will bunk up in a shipping container with a fellow soldier.

He will use a simple bathroom with stainless steel sinks, toilets and showers, which sometimes run out of hot water.

At the moment the weather is cooling down from the summer months, when temperatures push the 50C (122F) mark.

During the daytime it reaches the mid-30s and drops to the high 20s at night.

But as Harry’s four-month tour goes on, the weather will deteriorate.

The bone-dry dust, which constantly swirls around in summer, will turn muddy with the November rains, and December mornings are often frosty.

During his four-month tour, Harry will be treated like every other soldier in the vast camp.

Even as an officer, he has fewer privileges than at other bases in the UK and around the world.

There is no officers’ mess, no superior accommodation and soldiers are not required to salute commissioned officers as they walk past.

Although his time at Bastion will be less comfortable than back at home, Harry knows it could be worse.

Back in 2007/08, the Prince was stationed at Fob (Forward Operating Base) Delhi, where showers were limited to one every three days, food was standard rations, and soldiers slept on camp
 beds.

Prince Harry spent more than 18 months learning to fly an Apache, one of the world’s deadliest helicopters which is used in a number of roles in Afghanistan - all revolving around its devastating firepower.

The Prince’s apache is likely to be a welcome sight for soldiers who may be pinned down after being ambushed while out on patrol.

The Apache can operate in most weather and at night, so can be used to gather intelligence in many conditions including the harsh Afghanistan winters.

Back to the top of the page