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Third Tour

  • Paul Twitchell
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


The third tour of Op Telic

in the end of 2007,

yet again feeling the apprehension to go out there

but I'd been promoted by this time, so I was a corporal,

so I knew I was gonna have guys I needed to look after.

That I think, the pure virtue

that I had other people to think of

and I had a bigger role in the team,

that helped me

because it wasn't just about me,

I didn't just have me to think about.

There was other things.

There was other factors

and I had to be inspiring to those guys as well

or attempt to be inspiring

because you're put in a position to lead

and you've gotta go through with it.

There's no other way and you've got to find a way

to go through with it.

So, I prepared myself as best as I could

and the training was outstanding to garner.

Yet again the tour was very, very different

and we didn't really have free reign

to go and drive around Basra anymore

because there was a massive insurgency in the area

and on a daily basis, the Basra camp

was under rocket attack

and sometimes this would be a couple of times a day,

the rocket attack, at any time of the day or night

and then sometimes it would be 10/15 times a day.

So, literally rockets coming and flying

into the camp boundaries

and impacting on the ground

and sometimes getting causalities.

But because of our role,

a bomb disposal role, every single time a rocket was

or mortar was fired,

we'd have to go and investigate

to see if it was safe,

that it had actually functioned on the ground.

So, we were busy.

I mean, hugely, hugely busy.

Night and day

and then there was other operations that we had to go on

with the infantry

to various different places

which was quite exciting

'cause that was in their armor

and I'm not gonna say too much about that.

And then we looked after Basra Palace.

There's a team of us that looked after destroying anything

that we couldn't take back from Basra Palace

when we handed over to the Iraqi Army

and so, that was very exciting.

Instead of rockets raining down on us,

we had mortars.

So, yeah, that was a different experience.

And yeah, very, very responsible experience

and I gained a lot from it.

I think I matured a lot on that tour.

  • Paul Twitchell

    © RAF Museum

  • Paul Twitchell

    © RAF Museum

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