Posted 20 hours ago

Chinook Crew 'Chick': Highs and Lows of Forces Life from the Longest Serving Female RAF Chinook Force Crewmember

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Liz now works as a motivational speaker, mental health campaigner and runs courses in leadership for NHS workers. This involved recovering wounded soldiers from the battlefield, often under fire, and witnessing them both die and indeed come back to life right before her very eyes in the cabin of her Chinook.

As an RAF Veteran, I bring unique insights into team empowerment, overcoming adversity, decision-making, and talent retention. In her astounding career, Liz completed two deployments to Iraq followed by 10 deployments to Helmand province in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick, the codename for British operations there from 2002 until 2014. If you are looking for a military veteran with a truly inspirational story to tell who will provide audiences with the tools needed to build the path to a new life, look no further than Liz McConaghy.We also deliberately didn’t try to find out whether the casualties had made it or not, it was too difficult to find out because it wasn’t good for our mental health, but when the camp went into a state of ‘minimise’ — which is when the internet and phone lines are turned off — we knew that was when someone had lost their lives. After two deployments to Iraq followed by 10 to Afghanistan, her own mental health struggles left Liz feeling detached from herself emotionally and suicidal. A second tour of Iraq followed without incident and then, in 2005, the Chinook force turned their eyes towards Afghanistan. Aged just 21, she was the youngest aircrew member to deploy to Iraq and was also the only female crewman' on the Chinook wing for four years. When asked what she missed most about the military, McConaghy placed an emphasis on “the people, the banter, the chats” but also said she misses “the smell of the aircraft”.

She is now living in Basingstoke near the airbase she worked at, RAF Odiham — where the Chinooks are based — after spending a total of 17-and-a-half years flying with the RAF’s Chinook fleet. My proudest day in the RAF, despite all the things I’ve done; [is when] I took the Chinook into my old high school, and it was a grammar school back in Northern Ireland. In her astounding career Liz McConaghy completed two deployments to Iraq followed by ten deployments to Helmand province in Afghanistan in support of the enduring Operation Herrick campaign.This amount includes seller specified domestic postage charges as well as applicable international postage, dispatch, and other fees.

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