18,000 bags of post sent to troops

Andover Advertiser: Royal Mail sacks, filled with Christmas cards and presents, leave Camp Bastion to be distributed across the forward operating bases Royal Mail sacks, filled with Christmas cards and presents, leave Camp Bastion to be distributed across the forward operating bases

More than 130 tonnes of Christmas cards and presents have been sent to British soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Around 18,000 bags of letters and parcels have been delivered over the last week, which is over five times the usual amount.

After arriving at the troops' main base at Camp Bastion, the items, many of which will include things like new socks, gloves and sweets, are dished out to units operating in smaller, remote bases via helicopter and road convoy trucks.

Bags of mail were stacked up at the Passenger Handling Facility in Bastion, known as "mini Heathrow", ready to be flown to patrol bases and checkpoints in time for Christmas.

Corporal Jamielee McCreadie serves with the Theatre Logistics Group, which is part of the Royal Logistics Corps and is the first point in which all equipment and letters come in to Bastion.

The unit then sorts through the deliveries and transfer items on to where they need to be.

Cpl McCreadie, 25, from Arbroath, Angus, said: "We have seen a real surge in parcels in the run-up to Christmas. In the last week we've had 18,500 bags of post - the equivalent of about 130 tonnes. This compares to a normal week when there's about 3,500 mail sacks."

As well as packages and cards, the unit has also processed about 11,500 e-blueys, an electronic way of sending a letter, over the festive period, which can be sent electronically from the UK and are printed in Camp Bastion.

The e-bluey machines fold up and seal the letters before they come out, to ensure privacy is maintained.

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