The preceding “Salalah Song” and this offering whilst apparently trivial are indicative of what was a big problem for 55FST – Boredom, boredom, boredom.
The previous team under Lt Col Carter had been been very under employed and the RAF CO Sqn Leader Gerry Honey commented in the RAF Salalah Operation Record Book Form 540
“As can be seen, the shortage of cases which bedevilled the previous team seems to be over”
“The present FST’s problem, if any, is the converse of that which plagued their predecessors; during May 36 major and 41 minor operations were carried out, and the workload continues to increase, especially at the Dhofar Hospital.”
Back home in BAOR in BMH Rinteln an anaesthetist would average fifteen anaesthetics a day and the OTTs would be hard pressed to keep up with that sort of throughput.
The clinical records for this iteration of 55FST in Salalah record 275 anaesthetics in 121 days; – 2.25 a day which was serious underemployment.
The attempts to upgrade the facilities absorbed a good deal of energy and helped keep the boredom at bay.. The Royal Engineers erected a Twynham hut for use as an operating theatre. They laid concrete plinths for X-Ray and Lab tents. The Operating Theatre was first used around the 4th of May and by the time there were significant casualties towards the end of the tour from the Officers’ Mess and Mirbat it was fully functional.
In September 72 the RAF ORB 540 shows that the tents on a concrete plinth that were used for Laboratory and Xray were to be replaced with Twynham Huts.