I had always associated huskies with snow, adventurous treks across arctic landscapes and echos of ‘mush’ and enthusiastic yelps bouncing of walls of icy ravines.
From now on, they’ll have entirely different connotations.
My partner in crime Cath and I were having a bit of ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ moment on one of our recent trips outside the wire, being bundled from one form of transport to another en route to a remote patrol base…
A bumpy ride to the HLS (well, technically two, since our first was aborted due to a total lack of available helicopters anywhere in the vicinity) was followed by the now-familiar swerving around the skies in darkness in a Merlin helicopter.
Next I had a moment of dusty and very noisy nostalgia, with a road move in a Warrior courtesy of the boys from 2 Royal Welsh – nostalgic because I spent quite some time on Telic 10 with the same soldiers racing across another dusty desert in the same rumbling armoured vehicles.
But then came the piece de resistance. My first experience in a Husky. It’s one of the newer armoured vehicles in theatre and very comfortable it is too. Properly cushioned seats with racing-driver-type seatbelts (which are a bit of a challenge when one is attempting to do them up while bumping along an Afghan road plunged in darkness). The set-up inside reminds me a bit of a Humvee, but with a bit more head and leg room (not that I really need much of that if I’m honest) and less noisy. As we trundled along the roads from Lash to an encampment surrounded by ‘Hesco’ protective barriers somewhere, erm…else (it was dark, we debussed and re-bussed, it was a blur of Afghan countryside), I felt snug in our Husky, was offered in-‘flight’ beverages by the ‘top cover’ chap (bottle of chilled water), and was entertained by the 1 Scots Guards banter.
So I no longer think of Huskies as furry, blue-eyed canines, but as safe, friendly hunks of metal to travel around in.
Where can I get one?