With tribute to:

Martin Spirit

James Paul

Co-written by:

David Carter

Britain's Small Wars

The preservation of British Military History

Sierra Leone 2000

"Death and Diamonds"

RAF Deployment

RAF Chinooks

To Support UN and British operations in Sierra Leone, the RAF mounted Operation Palliser, which provided support elements of Chinook HC2s to the Army's spearhead battalion and a number of Hercules transports.

21 Hercules and 4 TriStar tasks were flown to deploy the spearhead battalion, which were supplemented by civilian air charters, while eight Hercules remained deployed in Dakar for on-going tasks and a daily re-supply from the UK was in operation. Joint Helicopter Command Chinooks remained in theatre and were available to support British or UNAMSIL operations.

HMS Illustrious, with Joint Force Harrier GR7 and F/A2 aircraft embarked, remained on task in case she was required to assist in the operation. On the ground, small detachments from the Tactical Communications Wing (TCW) and Tactical Medical Wing (TMW) were in theater, in addition to support elements for the air transport and JHC assets.