MoD revives weekly paper for Gulf War troops

Sandy Times, the weekly title that was read by British troops in the last Gulf War, has been revived.

The title, run by the Ministry of Defence, has a distribution of 20,000. It features news for the troops, sports coverage from back home, a messageboard and a satirical column. It is based at an office at the coalition press information centre in Qatar and edited by Graham Bound.

Speaking from Qatar, he said: “We don’t have any phone lines that work to the UK so I’m running up a hell of a bill on my mobile. We brought out a box of two Apple Macs, two laptops and a couple of digital cameras – and we’re using a local printer.” Bound said he expected his mobile to be confiscated. He has also been issued with a respirator and a chemical and biological warfare suit.

“The atmosphere is quite tense and we feel slightly isolated. We’re just waiting like everybody else to see what happens. I have the gas mask and respirator right by my desk so I don’t even have to stop writing.”

Copies are loaded on military transport planes and distributed free to battalions in Qatar and Kuwait. It is also sent to ships in a digital format.

Bound, a former BBC World Service freelance, is also in close contact with Soldier magazine in the UK.

By Ruth Addicott

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