Oil painting records RLC unit's previous achievements as they prepare for further challenges

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On the eve of deploying back to Afghanistan members of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), have received an oil painting commemorating their previous contribution to the campaign in Helmand.

Commissioned by one of the regiment’s sub-units, 15 Air Assault Close Support Squadron, the oil painting by artist David Rowlands shows the transportation, through Taliban territory, of a 220-tonne hydro-electric turbine to the Kajaki Dam in August 2008.

The successful ISAF and Afghan operation, codenamed EAGLE’S SUMMIT (OQAB TSUKA in Pashto), involved mostly British troops, and was said to have been the largest logistical operation carried out by the British Army since the Second World War.

The painting entitled ‘Daring, Dangerous, Delivered’ was created by David Rowlands at his studio in Bristol and depicts the moment that the combat logistic patrol delivered the turbine to Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge at Kajaki.

Major Iain Bayliss, the Officer Commanding of 15 Air Assault Close Support Squadron in 2008, said:

Royal Logistic Corps regiments and squadrons have been conducting hazardous combat logistic patrols in Helmand since 2006, providing logistic support to troops based in forward locations.

There is always a great reception from soldiers when we arrive in their bases delivering not only supplies but sometimes mail and other welfare equipment.

Operation EAGLE’S SUMMIT was an incredible experience which tested all the planning skills that I had learnt throughout my career in the Army but also allowed me to liaise with a vast array of individuals both from the British Army and also Canadian and American forces.

Corporal ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan, who served on Operation EAGLE’S SUMMIT, and is just about to deploy again to Helmand, said:

The painting is a great way to remember what we did on the last tour. It is achievements like EAGLE’S SUMMIT that drive us forward for our next tour.

It seems as though we have done even more training now to get us ready for this tour and all the guys are up for whatever comes our way.

Major Andy Lawson now has command of the squadron and will deploy to Helmand in the next few days:

The operation in 2008 and this painting to commemorate it will add to the history of 15 Squadron,” he said.

The guys and girls are certainly ready for the challenges that lie ahead in the next few months and I know that both in the regiment and squadron there is a great balance of those with experience and those for whom this is the first tour, which will ensure that we continue the work of our predecessors.

The men and women of 15 Air Assault Close Support Squadron first deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and then again in 2008 where they conducted numerous combat logistic patrols to places such as Sangin, Now Zad, Musa Qal’ah, Garmsir, and even further afield into Zabul province.