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The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland Battle Group deployed on Op HERRICK 10 to Afghanistan for six months during the summer of 2009. Its role was that of Aviation Assault Battle Group and its main task was raiding into insurgent-held areas in both Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. The Battle Group was dubbed the 'flying squad' by the media as it took the fight to the Taliban with aggressive helicopter assaults. The book follows the Battle Group's progress starting with pre-tour training and deployment. It describes, using first-hand accounts, the thirteen Battle Group operations including the Sangin Valley raids and the one wave assault at the start of Operation PANTHER'S CLAW. Also covered are the fighting patrols in Kandahar Province in an area known as the 'heart of darkness'.
Above all, this is a record of the achievements of every member of the Battle Group who were individually and collectively asked to do extraordinary things in the face of an highly experienced and ruthless enemy. Personal accounts and letters, supported by superb images, many taken by Battle Group members, vividly illustrate the paradox of conflict: the elation and fear of contact; the intensity of combat and the boredom of waiting; the calm of camp life and chaos of battle. The book exposes the humour, the grief, the hardship and the camaraderie experienced by soldiers on the front line of modern warfare. The vital contribution of those left behind, both Rear Party and families, is underlined. There were casualties and losses, each one felt deeply, and we see how the joy of the homecoming was tempered by these.
While members, families and friends of the Battle Group should see this as a personal tribute, others will find Aviation Assault Battle Group an inspiring account of the combined efforts of this highly professional, dedicated and courageous team. It is hoped that the book will also lead to a better understanding of what our Servicemen and women are achieving in this most dangerous and controversial of war zones.
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