News story

Gary Barlow visits Camp Bastion

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Take That star and X-Factor judge Gary Barlow has visited British military personnel on operations in Camp Bastion this week.

Singer-songwriter Gary Barlow joins British soldiers for a dawn run around Camp Bastion, Afghanistan [Picture: Sergeant Dan Bardsley, Crown copyright]
Gary Barlow joins British soldiers for a dawn run

The award-winning singer-songwriter spent a morale-boosting 3 days with sailors, soldiers and airmen, both regular and reservist, experiencing life on the base while filming a musical concert for broadcast later this year.

Gary tweeted:

Just back from an incredible trip to meet the troops in Afghanistan. Amazing experience and a lovely bunch of people. ThanQ Camp Bastion!

During his visit, Gary met many of the thousands of British personnel who are serving on Operation Herrick 19, signing autographs and posing for photos and messages for loved ones in the UK.

Senior Aircraftman Danny Bedford met Gary Barlow at his office at Camp Bastion’s fire station after his team posted a welcome sign:

We put a sign up to invite him to say hello and it was great that someone as famous as him made time to come here,” he said.

He’s been really friendly and it’s a nice change of scene to have someone like him here.

In a busy few days, Gary visited a range of units. He met soldiers from Close Support Logistics Regiment, was given a tour of an Apache attack helicopter and a Chinook helicopter at the Joint Aviation Group, and spent time with staff from the UK Medical Group.

He also joined a small group of soldiers for a dawn run around the desert camp, met musicians from the Royal Artillery Band and completed parts of the reception training that personnel go through when they arrive.

Gary said:

It’s been amazing and inspiring; something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years now. I can’t believe we have actually done it and achieved it. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever.

It’s been a privilege being here and meeting people who are serving so far from the UK.

Published 31 October 2013