Paul Clark wears 'nappy' in Afghanistan

Published Monday, 04 March 2013
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UTV presenter Paul Clark donned his body armour as he joined Territorial Army medics from Northern Ireland on the front line in Afghanistan.

Paul Clark wears 'nappy' in Afghanistan
Paul Clark on the front line. (© UTV)

A series of special reports from Helmand Province are airing on UTV Live this week, focusing on the mission of the soldiers from the TA, after Paul was stationed at the sprawling British-run base of Camp Bastion - which was established there in 2006.

Local troops have already escaped injury in a Taliban rocket attack on the base since arriving.

The Royal Dragoon Guards carries in its name the history of a number of the finest cavalry regiments in the army, including the Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.

It is proud of its Irish military tradition.

Before heading out on patrol with A squadron, Paul had to be kitted out with body armour - including what is known as a 'nappy'.

"This is the first time in my career I have ever had to wear body armour," he said. "But for these soldiers in the Royal Dragoon Guards, it is a daily occurrence.

"I wear these blast goggles to protect my eyes. Down here I have what they call a nappy to protect my private parts. The helmet has my name and, in case I should need a transfusion, so too does my blood group, B positive - and that just about sums me up right now."

Soldiers from the squadron have carried out 40 front line reconnaissance and intelligence operations in the past three months, supporting the Afghan National Army.

During missions they often travel in heavily protected all-terrain Warthogs, but being safe is one thing - there comes a time when a soldier's boots must touch the ground.

Trooper Mark McKeen said: "We need to get out of the vehicle to clear a route where the commander will decide if he doesn't like the route or not, so he would get a couple of us to get out and go in front of the wagon and clear for the wagons coming behind us."

Trooper Brian Kennedy added: "We all stick together, especially out here we have all come a lot closer and stick together, the same as the English boys as well.

"We are very close to them but I think it is different for the Northern Irish boys, that we all stick together and make sure we all stay safe and get home together."

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Carol Beck in Belfast wrote (559 days ago):
Hi Paul I enjoyed your first two reports about the soldiers from RDG serving in Afghanistan Was very pleased to see & hear my Son Trevor & my Nephew James .. I haven't saw my son in almost a year and only briefly spoke to him over the last 6 & half months he's been out there .. So it was lovely to see him and see he's looking well He will be home for Easter for a few days so I'm counting down the days Thanks Paul Carol Beck .. A very proud mother
Ian Gillespie in Lisbellaw wrote (560 days ago):
Paul enjoyed your first episode
HAPPY FACE in Falls Road wrote (561 days ago):
Paul Clarke is wearing a nappy. It would be funny,Are they pampers, LOL. On a serious note. I hope Paul takes care and he makes it home safe.
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