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  Our man in the Gulf: Preparing for war
Updated 16 March 2003, 12.19
The Ark Royal
BBC reporter and ex-Newsround presenter Matthew Price is reporting from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal in the Gulf.

Matthew Price
Our reporter, Matthew Price
And he's writing a web diary for CBBC Newsround.

In his latest, he explains how frustrated the marines are getting, not knowing whether there'll be war or not.

Diary entry five

I'm writing this on Comic Relief day. The ship's been at sea for almost two months, and they wanted to show they haven't forgotten the people back home.

So they put together a cheque for 1,089 - the same number of people they have on board.

We did some filming in the hanger. It's a huge place. Normally they have jets in there. But because the jets aren't due to be used (if there is a war) this time, the hanger is full of kit and helicopters.

Keeping in touch

They'd just got the post in when I got down there. An important time for the people on board. They get e-mails, but receiving stuff directly from home is better.

Further along the deck the Royal Marines had set up their backpacks. Ready to go - if they're needed.

And there were shooting targets, leaning against the vehicles they'll use if they do have to go to war.

Waiting game

The hanger is packed with tonnes of equipment. Stores, machinery. Down the end some people were doing some physical training. It's one of the few large places they can use.

I chatted to a few young Royal Marines. They're in the navy, and they're the people who will go into Iraq if the order's given.

All of them said they were ready. As everyone on board here tells you.

But one told me the waiting was frustrating. And not just for them.

"Our families", he said "are frustrated too."

Like people around the world, even the troops are waiting to see what happens.

Check out Matthew's next diary tomorrow!

More InfoBORDER=0
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Our man in the Gulf: Getting used to life at sea
Our man in the Gulf: Getting used to life at sea
Our man in the Gulf: On board Ark Royal



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