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Accommodation
The core buildings available to 55 FST were those that had mainly been constructed many years ago to house the Station Medical Centre. There was one new building, a Twynham Hut, named "The Rainford Ward" after a one time RAF Medical Officer.
 
 
The "F" assembly which was used as an operating theatre was not ideal......In an attempt to keep some of the heat out a heavy fly sheet had been erected. This was totally ineffective. An aircraft blower had also been provided to circulate air into the tent. It circulated air and dust. The floor of the tent was linoleum which was probably it's best feature.
 
F Assembly Operating Tent
 
Internal Old Operating Tent -Joe, Nick & Gerry
 
 
 
Conditions inside the tent were truly appalling. It was abundantly clear that once it started to become even hotter with the approach of summer that we needed better accommodation. We lobbied who we could to try and achieve this aim but our wishes were not fulfilled. There was the real prospect that should we receive more than a few casualties our efficiency would be seriously degraded.

The SAS had been promised (see Operation Storm) first rate facilities as part of the "package" in their deployment to Dhofar. If they were going to risk their necks they wanted the reassurance that there was a properly staffed field hospital with good facilities - certainly not just 13 men in a dusty tent. Not to beat about the bush, they were sold short.

In practical terms there was only so much that we would be able to do to improve matters. We only had four or five months there and we were determined that the follow on team would not inherit what we had inherited.
 
 
There can be no doubt at all that had not the improved facilities not been available the outcome for the casualties from the officers' mess and from Mirbat would have been very different.