'Operation Barras, 10th September 2000. Special Forces Lynx from 657 Squadron Army Air Corps and Chinooks from 7 Squadron Royal Air Force in direct fire support to the United Kingdom Special Forces hostage rescue mission in Sierra Leone.'
Colour photolithograph after David Rowlands, 2000. Published by Saville Fine Arts, Bristol, 2000 (c).
Operation Barras was launched on 10 September 2000. Its objective was the rescue of soldiers taken hostage by a rebel gang known as the 'West Side Boys'. The operation targeted the gang's base deep in the Sierra Leone jungle. This was formed of two villages, Magbeni and Gberi Bana, which sat aside opposite banks of the Rokel Creek.
Helicopters provided vital fire support to this high-risk assault. They targeted enemy heavy weapons and the banks of the creek, helping to prevent the enemy from sending reinforcements across the river, which could be used against the troops engaged in the hostage rescue mission in Gberi Bana.
NAM Accession Number
Copyright David Rowlands
National Army Museum, Study collection