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on 13 February 2011
Lifeline in Helmand is Roger Annett's third, and in my opinion best, book to date. It embraces a variety of Service units, their preparation training, deployment, operational roles, recovery and 'decompression' after leaving Afghanistan. Not only is it powerfully factual, but also goes behind the action to seek out the feelings of all those involved. This is done sensitively but makes wonderful reading. It also discloses differences of opinion at various levels on the usefulness of our involvement in Afghanistan. That apart, this excellent book shows all the members of our Armed Forces working successfully together to achieve a united aim.
It also highlights the increasing importance of transport and helicopter aircraft and crews, together with intelligence gathering unmanned drones.
Anyone seeking to redefine the purpose of our Royal Air Force should read this book.
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on 7 December 2011
The ground conflict dominates books written on the current Afghanistan campaign. Lifeline in Helmand is a refreshing addition that tells the critical story of the Chinook crews without whom the ground war would be even more bloody and costly.

This is not a gung-ho, ghosted yarn nor a dry official history. Author Roger Annett has an engaging narrative style that conveys his extensive research. He helpfully walks the reader through each environment - from the cockpit and cabin of the aircraft to life on the sprawling bases. The book is packed with pictures that capture the Chinook in action and the rugged beauty of the region.

There is a helpful historical analysis as well as maps of the various theatres. What comes across vividly is the stresses and strains placed on both aircraft and crew, through PDT (Pre-Deployment Training) to troop insertion and high speed casualty extraction under fire. Life for the crews is a relentless treadmill, with some (at the time of writing) already on their seventh tour.

Although the main focus is the Chinook, Hercules operations are also well covered, from the different aircraft models to the intricacies of parachute drops and resupply. It is not as simple as it looks on TV.

There is no doubt that the Chinooks are indeed the Lifeline in Helmand, and the book is testimony to the courage of their crews.
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on 30 December 2014
Found the book was interesting as it covered a side of the air force I have never read about before. Covers a wide range of the work carried out by the Chinook and Hercules crews when on operations in Afghanistan. Worth a look if you're interested in the other sides of RAF life rather than the fast jets.
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on 18 June 2015
Great reading, thankfully it also goes into detail about such units as 47ADispatch. This was my old unit back in the days when it was 47 Coy RASC based in Watchfield.
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on 29 October 2013
Great job of keeping the reader engrossed in the book very well written by the writer has done a great deal of research about the tasks of the crews of the Chinook
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on 23 June 2014
Very interesting book which opens one's eye's as to the effort that goes into keeping the front line troops supplied with all their need's to fight a battle.
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on 31 December 2014
Weak and full of clichés. There are far better books available about the Afghan conflict.
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on 28 November 2015
Being a soldier I didn't find it that great. Don't get me wrong these boys do a good job.
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on 26 June 2014
Shows the bravery and devotion to duty by our armed forces.Very proud of them
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on 29 October 2014
As dull as Stagging on. A civi might find it interesting. Reads like a PAM.
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