: Warzone – Life on Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - JUNE 27: British parat...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

UK TV station Channel 5 are airing the series Warzone which looks at life on Kandahar Air Base for the British and Allied forces stationed there. This is the latest in a welcome crop of documentaries following the lives of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the BBC’s A Soldier’s Story and Ross Kemp in Afghanistan from Sky, amongst others. This is a much lighter programme but fascinating regardless. For me, it remains crucial to keep the home audience aware of the extent of British involvement in the key conflict areas of the world and this is a great, upbeat example.

So welcome to Kandahar Air Base – home to 10,000 service personnel, a major logistical hub and the launching point for a large number of operations in Afghanistan. The amenities are basic but wide-ranging, including home comforts such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, an alcohol-free bar and the occasional impromptu disco. I wonder whether booze does flow a tad more freely behind the scenes but the base is otherwise strictly business. Relationships are tough as the minority women on the base are forbidden intimate contact with the men. Despite weekly rocket attacks from the charming Taliban, the occupants of the base seem relatively relaxed and even philosophical. The RAF Regiment is responsible for base security and a new platoon is shown arriving for their tour of duty.

The series producer, Susanne Rock, for Granada has elected to follow specific individuals as their lives illustrate life on the base and, in future episodes, outside it. We have met the base commander, Harrier Pilot Hillard (a star of previous documentaries) and his maintenance crew, the RAF Regiment and the charming Kate from the Valleys, one of the base administrators. An interesting start – one to watch.


kevin lockJanuary 9th, 2009 at 1:54 am

I am an ex royal navy medic. I served in the falklands war. Can you say thank you to our brave armed forces doing there best happy new year to them all

[…] front line”. If you have read my reviews of A Soldier’s Story (BBC) and Warzone (Channel 5) you will know I have been a keen observer of coverage of our fights abroad. I cannot […]

AnonymousJune 6th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

is this series ever coming back to finsh

SimonJune 6th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Hi there. This is the most popular item on the blog and, yes, I can understand your frustration. The word from is that the ratings mean they shelved it until later in the year. I cannot understand it. My blog has had 100 times more hits regarding Afghanistan and our troops fighting out there than any other subject, including the Expenses fiasco and the Whitehall Gravy Boat. You can watch the series on Five’s on-demand service here. I will keep an eye out for the return of the series and I hope programme-makers take note : the public wants to be told what is happening out in Afghanistan.

MillaSeptember 7th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

In Namibian both programs aired for 3 episodes. Is there any where I can watch the rest of teh series online? Both warship & warzone?

SimonJuly 12th, 2012 at 8:19 am

For all watchers out there, I have just found out that the series is currently being repeated on BBC Knowledge channel. Seems to be satellite only but should be available via the Sky feed in Europe, as well as Australasia.