War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

olympics

in London where it’s stopped raining for a few hours. signs of rush rush rush the Olympics are only a few weeks off are everywhere. scaffolding. half-painted buildings. signage. work crews. and, I suspect, security. apparently there’s some heavy duty equipment being deployed on rooftops throughout the capital. yikes.

I read in the paper that they’re bringing in the army at the last minute to boost security. they’re planning on putting the boys back from A’stan on bag checkpoints doing the tedious but necessary work that apparently the contractor hasn’t provided for. this surprises me. in 2010 I went with the Patricia’s Colonel of the Regiment, BGen Goller, up to Whistler for a few days to check out the situation with 3VP and while it was a much smaller Op it’ll be interesting to compare how it goes.

3VP had been home from the desert 1 1/2 years by the time they deployed to Whistler and Vancouver. a big switch for them, but some were really happy to do it. “it’s a gucci go” they said, “warm place to sleep, 3 squares, not too much to do but play cards and pingpong” … but then, that was before the Olympics began, and then the next day they were put on gate duty much to their chagrin!

the whole raison d’être of the battalion was to be there just in case and they were placed in an outer cordon of security. invisible. ish. except for their surveillance balloon which many of the locals objected to as Big Brotherish (which makes me smile because over here it’s near impossible to NOT be on camera ANYWHERE at any time – the surveillance society is alive and well in Britain). I had a chance to look in on the guys monitoring the cameras. interesting.

I remember spending a few hours with the snipers. they were all growing the cheesiest porn-staches imaginable (growing mustaches is a thing that’s done in the field). they were relaxed yet they weren’t totally. they were, as I wrote at the time, like thoroughbreds tethered to a merry-go-round. and that is a commanding officer’s big challenge – to keep the boys’ skills up, to prevent them from boredom and not let them go stir-crazy. doing bag checks might not have been the best use of the manpower available – but the cops from 126 police units from across the country were doing that job).

I think the guys who had the most fun at the Olympics were the ones up in the mountains camping out and doing surveillance from up high. they had, in typical army style, made the most comfortable biv possible. cosy. nice latrine. great views.

I won’t be in London for the Olympics. London is crazy at the best of times. last time I was here I was robbed. not cool. in the Tube. I don’t usually do the Tube but we were in a hurry. my rule of thumb is never do anything in a hurry but I needed to get a pair of girls somewhere fast. I learned. we were safe. we managed. it was a shitshow. but noone was hurt. a London cabbie bailed us out. took us crying back to our hotel and didn’t charge us. and as long as London still has cabbies like him, I have faith and hope the Olympics will go well.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled olympics. It was posted here on July 13, 2012.

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