Camp Bastion


May 4, 2006

Camp Bastion


Camp Bastion by night.

First came wind and dust.

Then rain cleared the air.

Within minutes the weather seems to have cleared.

And then… just minutes later:

The wind whirled and roared.

And scooped up miles of dust.

And threw it wildly across the sky.

Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

On Camp Bastion, I walked outside and there it was: a tremendous dust storm boiling from the South. The storm brought at least two bolts of lightning and much cool air, followed by a hard, blowing rain. The dust turned to mud. The sky cleared. The air was nearly still. But off to the West, there it was again: a different dust storm rolling in, this one at a 90 degree angle from the first storm.

Men scurrying like bugs.

Before the wall of dust.

The dust swarms vertically.

Men, far away, were scrambling and occasionally falling as they tried to outrun the storm; while others were loading into trucks then racing toward us.

Still fleeing but the storm is gaining.

The wall descends.

Nearly to the guard tower.

The wind braids the plumes of dust.

Trucks racing away.

Barely make it.

I don’t know what happened to the men who were running.

But a truck full of Filipinos made it.

And dashed for cover.

The winds were upon us, nearly tearing off the trailer roof. Steve and I tied it down. The mess tent had already been knocked down, but the ropes anchoring it kept it from blowing away. Satellite phones would not work; the dust attenuated the signal. Work came to a standstill.

Later that night, there were storms in the distance.

And there was lightning.


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barbara, NC · 12 years ago
    I just wanted to thank you for these gives me an idea how my husband is living. He will be spending a year there and it was nice to see pictures and put it to his descriptions. THANK YOU!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Patricia · 12 years ago
    Thanks for giving me an insight to what its like out there. My boyfriend is in bastion and its good to see what life out there is like for them although I dont think I could ever fully imagine what they go through. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is out there!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    kathy · 12 years ago
    Thank you for these photos, my daughter is at Bastion and I cried when I seen this. I knew she was living in hell but I didn't know this bad.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    john paul · 12 years ago
    It is not at all like this.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tracy Wilkinson · 12 years ago
    My son is due to fly out on Wednesday at least we have some idea of what it can be like.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris Myrick · 12 years ago
    Thank you for your beautiful photos. My son, a marine corporal just got moved to Bastion from Kandahar, and I need a visual. They are somewhat hauntingly beautiful. God bless you and all the troops.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Maria Sotelo · 12 years ago
    Thanks for the view, my son in law Kosmo is there now, he is working on the computer systems there, for the Troops. Thanks all the Troops for their Service,, My Father was in the Army, my Husband was in the Marines, my Kosmo is in to Computers.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anakin Portillo · 12 years ago
    Does anyone know if Bastion or Dwyer have internet connectivity? I have someone that'll be at Camp Dwyer and I'm hoping I'll hear from them soon if there's internet connectivity.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ray Hahn · 12 years ago
    My 19 year old Grandson is a US Marine who just arrived at Camp Bastion. Thanks for the photos and captions. It really helps me appreciate the sacrifice he and our troups are making. May the Lord Jesus give our troups and allies the courage to complete their task in a difficult environment. I pray for them daily.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark Johnson · 12 years ago
    We have two sons out there one aged 19 the other just 18, they just arrived this week, its good to see what the place is like although it looks pretty inhospitable. We pray for them to keep safe and well both physicaly and mentally (that goes for all of 1RHA).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    cindy · 12 years ago
    Thanks for the pic's my son just got there and called. It was nice to talk to him and see where he is.
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    kay buchan · 12 years ago
    My son was in Bastion last year befor going out to a fob for 6mnths. He is back again in April. This time staying in Bastion, thank goodness.The risks are high there but they are reasonably safe. I can recomend the home cooking.. The pics are beautiful. god bless all the boys and girls out there xxxx
  • This commment is unpublished.
    greer campbell · 12 years ago
    as many others have already said, thank you so much for showing what sort of hell our loved ones are living in, i dont know if it makes it easier to live with much i know i for one want to know how they live, bec. if they can live it then i should know.
    thank you again
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Natasha · 12 years ago
    Thanks for ur pics. I never really knew what my husband was enduring and I really want to say thank you. God Bless my husband Andre and the troops.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tanja van Niekerk · 12 years ago
    Thank you for the foto's! My brother has been in camp Bastion for a few months and will be leaving in a month or so, of course we can't wait to see him again. He's told us what it like, but the foto's give life to his words. We pray for them every single and precious day.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    gemma hunter · 12 years ago
    my fiancee has just gone to afganistan and will be staying at camp bastion i have been searching for pics today t c what it was like im greatful for these pics just wish he was home with me
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mrs Clark-Stapleton · 12 years ago
    We have organised parcels to be sent to those serving in Bastion.
    They will arrive commencing next week addressed
    To a British Soldier
    Camp Bastion

    Anyone can take one and please enjoy.
    From us all at eurobichons.

    and Bradley look forward to celebrating xma and your birthday when you return Jan2010.

    Brad is Pax handler RN AET,
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DONNA · 12 years ago
    My son is at this Camp. He is a US Navy man serving in the British Hospital. I pray for him every day along with all the other men and women that serve in this war to keep the rest of us secure . My love, prayers and constant thoughts are with him always.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cindy Puckett · 12 years ago
    My nephew Brandon arrived in Camp Bastion last week. We're not sure how long he'll be staying, at least until February. It's good to be able to see how he'll be living while he's there. I think about him every day and pray that he'll return home safely. I am so very proud of him and I hope he knows it. The sacrifice he's making in order for others to live freely is above all others.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kevin William Otten · 12 years ago
    Hi,in the UK son is about to go out to helmand not happy but he is 5-6 months over xmas
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Theresa · 12 years ago
    My 22year old son has volunteered to go to Afghaniston and will probably be there in April 2010 for 6 months. I am devastated, but these photos give me an idea of where he will be. It's so hard to visualise.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jon martin · 12 years ago
    to wish all our brave soldiers and military personell a happy xmas and hope they keep safe and well myself and my young familyreally appreciate everything you are all doing out there i myself am disabled and aged 20 had a car crash but after being excluded from school aged 15 really wanted to become an infantryman however after going to local army carrers office and passing the basic computer tests with ease was refused on medical grounds due to having asthma i was out of school and finding myself getting into all sorts of trouble thought that a carrer in the forces would not only give me a worthwhile job but also set me on the straight and narrow and be character building and also teach me respect and to bea team player i am in awe of all military personell that are doing the tough job that you all are doing for the sake of peace in a country far from home so again please be safe and look out for eachother happy xmas you will be home soon
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tanya Thom · 12 years ago
    Thank You for the pictures of Camp Bastion. My son has been there since the first week of Nov 2009 and is expected to be there until aug 2010. I feel closer when I see pictures. Thank you to all the men and women serving in the military! Know that there are many people here thinking and praying for you!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    chantal c. caploe · 12 years ago
    I had no idea it would look like that. My son is definitely in a different part of the world. We're from the mid-west, but this scares me. He is arriving there today as i write. I am a military brat, but i had no idea he would have to face this for at least seven months. I only hope he does not go insane as I'm sure I would.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lora Shirey · 12 years ago
    My son who is serving in the Marines as an Air-Wing (Air Framer) left for Bastion on January 9th. He told me that his squadron will be assisting with the air support in Bastion and that they would be living in tents. I had no idea that it would be this bad out there. He did a tour in Iraq and I knew it was sandy there, but this is beyond sandy. My heart and prayers go out to everyone who is stationed in Afghanistan.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    kim schafer · 12 years ago
    Thank you for your pictures. Now I have some idea what living and breathing must be like for our son. I'm sure a bad day for me is still better than a day in Afghanistan. Thank you for your work and God bless all our troops, U.S., British and allied forces. May you all come home safely.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mario Aparicio · 12 years ago
    Thanks for the pictures. my son is out there since the first week of january and he tells me it is nothing like he thought it would be. God protect our military family there.
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    smith · 11 years ago
    camp bastion looks nothing like this now,iv just got back from a 6 month tour(my second in year) and i am glad to say these pics are either fake or 5 year old
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    senior airman · 11 years ago
    ...will be deploying there this summer. sweet!..i'm also filipino. glad to see we folk can run from a sandstorm. XP XP
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kay · 11 years ago
    Yes...these picture ARE hauntingly eerie and strangely beautiful. My son lives there for awhile, now. I am really happy that I sent the nose spray, Q-Tips, eye drops, and computer keyboard skin!

    Truly amazing photographs! I live in a desert here in the U.S. and am a little accustomed to sometimes violent dust storms (nothing of this magnitude, however).

    I do remind myself, though, that people have survived in that desert for centuries. I am hoping that battles with the wheather will eclipse the other kind our troops will face.

    Thank you for the pictures.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Griff · 11 years ago
    Not to sure about these pictures....... the tents are not British Issue, they are American, the only people visible are locals and as anyone who has been to Camp Bastion can tell you... a picture without a Hesco Bag in it aint Bastion. Camp Bastion 1 and 2 are huge tightly packed accommodation and operation areas with over 12000 service man on them... these pictures make it seem like theres nobody home. If you are going out for the first time, or your a family member of someone who is the best place to look would be the BBC Pictures of Bastion, if you see nissan hut type tents in the pictures thats the real Bastion. Google image search is also a good place to look.

    I would guess these are pictures taken outside the Camp Bastion walls where some of the local contractors plonk themselves every now and again.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    lynsey cardwell · 11 years ago
    hi my little bro is at camp bastion and these pictures have set my mind at rest just 2 no wot its like out there iam missing him like mad and my son missis him everyday he is home in may so not long now thanks you
  • This commment is unpublished.
    British Contractor · 11 years ago
    if you wish to see life in camp bastion follow this Link
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary · 11 years ago
    My husband is a Marine, he's currently @ Camp Bastian, I talked to him the other night when they were having a storm much like the one in the pictures. There was thunder and then the phone lines went dead. I assure you for the people nervous for their loved ones, this is a normal occurence much like the sand storms we have in the mojave desert where were stationed. The sand is a little finer. They are equipt for these storms. One lady remarked that her daughter is living in hell, don't think that way, it could be alot worse.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mick G · 11 years ago
    For those looking at the above comments, I am about to return for my third ( month) visit 'within the wire'. For troops serving outside the wire and including the British 'FOB's' I cannot say that conditions are particularly good as I do not leave the sanctuary of Camp Bastion, but for those concerned about life within Camp Bastion? quality tentage or portakabin accomodation, EFI & cafe, pizza/indian takeaway facilities, good food, water, sanitation, BFBS TV and Radio. The weather is still extremely hot in summer, and most of the time dusty, most of the inhabitants have varied levels of welfare and laundry facilities. Butlins holiday camp it 'aint', but compared to the troops, it's livable, and safe, and with access to phoning home or use of the internet (subject to regular local 'downtime') it is not so bad. Whatever you do not take could be sent via the Royal Mail/postal service (up to 2 weeks) as local supplies are limited in their choice and availability, but I'm sure there are worse (More Dangerous) places, not even war zones, and within the UK Border. But if our job here is to support the troops, then we'll do whataver it takes.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mick G · 11 years ago
    I would like to add to my earlier comment that camp Bastion (and Leatherneck for the US forces) are constantly undergoing re-furbishment and upgrading and the conditions here although subjected to the hostile weather are considerably better than those depicted in the early 2006/2007 stages of construction. Conditions here could be considered to be quite hospitable but as an ex serviceman the truth is hidden, it is still a war zone and there are constant reminders. The troops conducting the peacekeeping/security missions still face a constant threat on a daily basis, and do not have the advantage of the 'relative' security of what Camp Bastion or Kandahar have to offer.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Nicole Kelly · 11 years ago
    Before my brother went to Camp Bastion he showed us this site and said it was a safe place to be...he helped put our minds at ease. I know that he is ok while he's there. Seeing these pics and comments from other people help me and my family. I love you little bro!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JERICO · 11 years ago
    I have an employment offer there in camp bastion as Project Scheduler??? Is it safe there???
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Norilyn · 11 years ago
    thanks for the i have an idea on what Camp Bastion looks like....My Husband is in Bagram, and in his way to Camp Bastion...his orders is supposed to be at Baghdad Iraq, but for some reason they cant find his name, so when they called Randolph AFB..they said he's supposed to be in there it is...We hope and pray for your safe return and for All the Men and Women fighting so we can have a good nite sleep...We love you so much Daddy...can't wait to kiss and hug you...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carol · 11 years ago
    my dearest friend has just gone to camp bastion - just hope he keeps safe and returns home soon
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    mom · 11 years ago
    Dwyer's internet is spotty. Keep sending e-mails so they can be picked up when it's on. My son's on his way to another FOB after being there for 2 mos.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tanti M. · 11 years ago
    I am thankful to God for everyone who serves in the name of defending freedom. I realize that there are military troops at Bastion and other military camps and airfields there. However, there is a plethora of civilian employees too, Dod contractors, majority of whom are military veterans. We need to keep them in prayer as well, as well as their families. Contractors do these jobs on a voluntary basis, they make sacrifices too, so I hope they don't go forgotten either. Many of them are KIA as well. I am proud of my husband, a U.S. Navy veteran of 2 years and now working as a Dod contractor in Camp Bastion. Our family, consisting of six children, pray daily for the safety and safe return of all who serve, civilian, military, both U.S. and the other nationalities. May God continue to watch over them, grant them strength and perseverance and keep them in the palm of His hand.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A Marine mom · 11 years ago
    My Marine son is just about to set foot at Camp Bastion. He and his squadron are there to repair and maintain the Osprey Helicopters. I am praying Psalms 91 over all the troops, a prayer of God's love and protection. Thank you for posting these pictures. It helps visualize where they are as I pray for them. God bless our troops and God bless America!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Concerned/ Worried M · 11 years ago
    My 20 yr. old Marine son will be going to Camp Bastion in Sept. 2010. He works in Bulk Fuel and this is his first deployment. Thank you for the pictures. It gives me an idea of where he will be. My prayers are with all of our soldiers. May God Bless each and everyone of you and the families.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    praying for your saf · 11 years ago
    Thak you so much for the pics, it is nice to see. My husband is leaving soon for Camp Bastion. I am praying for all of the men and women over there. And for my husband to come back safe to me and our two boys.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marie · 11 years ago
    Thank God my husband is home from Camp Bastion. I never know how it looks like until I've seen these pictures. Thanks a lot for giving me an idea how hard life can be in Camp Bastion especially when it is windy.
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    mom of a marine · 11 years ago
    my son just left this place. thank you god for bringing him home safe.
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    Suzie · 11 years ago
    My son got there at the end of August and I have been wondering what his surroundings are like. He is excited for his first sandstorm (20 almost 21 year old young men must like that kind of stuff) and now I have one more thing to worry about! I know the good Lord will take care of him, so that helps. God Bless our Troops and thanks to all of you who pray for our military men and women regularly. They are never far from our hearts or our thoughts and knowing folks all around the world are supporting them sure helps! Semper Fidelis!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff D · 11 years ago
    Please if anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it. I was stationed at LD last year and had to leave on extremely short notice. I met a great person who helped me in a huge way. He is Croation who is a supervisor for a company that builds facilities on LD and Bastion. I need to contact him as soon as possible. He is from Rejika,Croatia. My email is jeffdina200 here in Daytona Beach Florida. Your help is greatly appreciated and for all those there doing the deal . Gods Speed ! Wish I could be there to help.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Suzanne · 11 years ago
    My son who is only 20 arrived at Camp Bastion just this week, i can't imagine what its like. It a job he chose to do, for which i am very proud. I pray that my boy and all the other men and women are brought home safe to us. God Bless them all. We love and miss you son......awaiting your return. love always mum xxx

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