Ties forged in front line of the war on Taliban

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CAMP Bastion is the military hub in the middle of the desert from which the UK has waged its war against the Taliban in Helmand Province for nearly a decade.

The size of the enclosure is staggering.

It is close to 40km in perimeter, with a road network 200km long.

Created alongside the adjoining American base of Leatherneck, it is home to 30,000 people.

A new runway opened in February last year, and there are currently some 600 flights daily or around 17,000 a month – making it the fifth busiest UK airport.

Hundreds of vehicles also stream into the camp every day.

It is named after the huge rubble filled bags used to define its boundaries, invented by Leeds millionaire businessman and philanthropist Jimi Heselden.

Mr Heselden, an ex-miner who died in 2010 while riding his Segway scooter, was the owner of Hesco Bastion, based in Leeds.

Now, thousands of Mr Heselden’s bags line the roads around the camp – as well as countless other British bases across Helmand Province.