Camp Bastion and Airfield



2 Bastion photo diary

7th September 2012

A civilian cargo plane coming in to land at Camp Bastion, flying just a few hundred feet above the guard tower at the southern end of the runway. The significance of this guard tower is that the Taliban were as familiar with it as we were.

The supposedly secure airfield defences had been breached at least three times that summer, all incursions going undetected until after the event and only when patrols found cuts in the chain link fence.  Two of those breaches happened besides the tower in this photo, just a few hundred feet below the aircraft’s final approach to the airfield. Surveillance video recordings showed one trespasser entering this guard tower and remaining there for sometime before leaving the airfield - all undetected till a subsequent fence inspection.

The potential for a catastrophic attack against an aircraft from that guard tower is starkly obvious I think, but I saw no change in the guard posture other than to relax it, especially towards the end of our six-month tour rotation. 

Anthony C Heaford - @mancunianquiet