We were lucky enough to be invited back to participate with the other 13000 personnel for the third time in the epic tale known as Joint Warrior. Joint Warrior is a UK tri-Service multinational exercise that involves numerous warships, aircraft, marines and troops from the Uk and Nato allies. Clearly our previous Golden Globe/BAFTA worthy acting skills had left an impression on the NATO fleet for they believed the exercise could not proceed without the URNU stars.
With high hopes and the overwhelming keenness of our first years we prepared for an adventure that was to rival the Hobbit. We arrived of what can only be described as the most isolated airbase that exists. In past Joint Warrior Exercises we tended to stay in luxurious accommodation, however we soon realised there was no 5 star hotel nearby. Initially we were placed in a hanger full of marines to the delight of the girls while the guys feared for their safety. However, we later moved to again a more isolated hanger. Living in a sexist world the girls were naturally given a room with a heater to themselves. This left the lads in a bit of a tough spot. Some of the gentleman (the smart ones) opted to occupy the third room which offered some heat but the other LADS chose to sleep in the sub-zero, bullet riddled, damp hanger. These men feared nothing, they were like Chuck Norris, could take on the world. That is until at 2 o’clock in the morning they realised they would be getting no sleep despite sleeping in their 4s. The hours ticked and no amount of sheep counting brought on sleep.
The following day we were transported in what can only be described as roller coaster like trucks. Upon arriving at the beach head we popped into the Cock… a pub. To our surprise we discovered Dugald who had suffered a nasty bullet wound; some would say he is invincible given that the bullet had entered and exited his head. Later we were allocated roles, with our fellow Afghan participants. As usual Grant was given a woman to act as his pregnant wife, unfortunately she was not recused but Grant promised to return with the full might of the Royal Navy. Andy somehow ‘lost’ his passport and was compared to someone who had darker skin and came from a country on the other side of the world… Must be the beard that fooled those ever so clever marines. However, the real award winning actors were Alice, Louise and Niall (once he was discovered to be seriously ill).
Louise was a perfect patient and was given a lot of tender loving care, however, Niall was bitter about this and began acting up in order to get some attention. He too was later placed under supervision to cure his questionable Malaria symptoms. The real hero was Alice though, she refused to be separated from our zombie like husband Dugald and in order to stay with him she rugby tackled a marine and nearly successful broke through the marine barrier. Afterwards we were evacuated by landing craft onto HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy’s flag ship. All in all this was probably one of the best Joint Warriors the URNU has participated in! Some even say it brings people equally as close together as a deployment.