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Suffolk/Afghanistan: Grim Reaper casts an eye over Helmand

00:05 27 January 2013

A hand painted mural from 662 Squadron on a prefabricated blast wall between Apache helicopters flight-line, at Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

A hand painted mural from 662 Squadron on a prefabricated blast wall between Apache helicopters flight-line, at Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

AN EERIE painting of the Grim Reaper clutching a bloodshot eye serves as a poignant reminder of the reality of war on the Apache flight line in Camp Bastion.

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The mural on the blast-wall of an attack helicopter’s parking position is the beginnings of a work of art to mark the latest operational tour of Prince Harry’s 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC), which is based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.

Beneath the image of a moonlit and cloudy night sky over the Afghan mountains is the squadron’s motto, Death Dealing Eye, a translation of the Greek saying Olethrion Omma, which is written in a gothic font in the top right corner of the painting.

Fearful dark Apaches are pictured hovering amongst the shadowy clouds, indicating their stealth, power and mystery to the enemy insurgents.

Once finished, the piece of graffiti, which is expertly painted by a member of the squadron, is likely to feature the names of the aircrews and ground engineers involved in Harry’s 20-week deployment to Helmand Province.

Elsewhere on the flight line the concrete walls are covered with other murals marking previous tours.

A more jovial painting of characters from the US cartoon The Simpsons surrounding an Apache marks the 654 Reme (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) tour from January to May last year.

And another features an intricate painting of a Transformers figure which has been formed from an Apache.

The piece, for 664 Sqn, 3 Reg AAC’s tour from May to September last year, is alongside the slogan Revenge For The Fallen and the unit’s Latin motto Vae Viso, which translates as: I espied it; woe betide it.

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