ON just three interrupted hours sleep, we had a busy day meeting troops from the Royal Dragoon Guards Recce Troop and RAF XIII Squadron, who I'll tell you more about later.

Trips to the "cookhouse" are slotted in between meetings. It's explained to our group, which includes three female reporters as "Meercat Manor" to describe how soldiers lift their heads up from their "scoff" when women enter the room.

Meanwhile the layer of dust hanging over the camp is creating havoc. Planes are grounded by sandstorms and our Hercules transfer to Camp Bastion that evening is cancelled.

The dust causes frustration for soldiers whose two weeks' R&R is put on hold as they're stranded in camp and it blocks the transfer of supplies between camps.

For those remaining in camp, however, it provides relief from the burning sun as temperatures fall from over 50 degrees to the 20s.

Most reporters from Afghanistan concentrate on the front line - the sexy bit as viewed by journalists. Although mothers may disagree, this is also the way many soldiers see it.

They joined the armed forces for this action and they have been training hard for it. But with between six and ten people needed to support every one person on the front line, the reality is that most of them will stay in camp.

Some of the soldiers I speak to say they get bored doing the less sexy, but nonetheless vital, work. About 5,700 kilometres away from their families in inhospitable conditions, little luxuries make a huge difference.

KAF defies all my expectations on this front and different nationalities, distinguishable by different shades and styles of uniform, have different cultural influences.

The American influence on the camp is apparent, most remarkably at the Boardwalk, an informal area where troops can remove their headdress and recharge.

The Boardwalk includes a TGI Friday's restaurant, KFC and French patisserie, as well as shops selling Afghan jewellery and carpets.

Other shops sell duty-free goods and an American store with a healthy sense of irony sells Afghanistan t-shirts and postcards, including a brown t-shirt that pays tribute to Poo Pond.

The Canadians have put up a hockey pitch and have national coffee shop chain Tim Hortons , known for its donuts, based in their part of the camp. A Danish bar, although no alcohol is allowed on camp, provides dry discos, karaoke, pool and board games.

The British hang-out, Heroes, is where British soldiers go for a cup of tea, known as a "wet" or a "brew", and shows films.