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‘War is over’ for battle-hardened regional reporter

A regional journalist who has won royal recognition for her “war of words” is preparing to be demobbed from the world’s deadliest area of conflict.

South Wales Evening Post defence reporter Liz Perkins has told HoldtheFrontPage of the vastly altered landscape in Afghanistan after returning from her final tour of duty there.

The battle-hardened veteran of six trips was embedded in Helmand Province on a five-day reporting stint with 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

She returned to Camp Bastion for the assignment, where she first reported for the Swansea-based daily back in July 2008 on the work of medics as part of 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital (Volunteers).

Liz said she was glad of the opportunity to report again from Helmand Province before the draw down of the conflict, which will take place over the next few months.

She added: “Camp Bastion has changed so much since I first went out there in July 2008. There are parts of the site, which are completely empty now as the war is almost over.

“It was a very different exercise reporting there now compared to 2012 when I spent part of the 10 days out on the ground with 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, listening to the sound of Taliban gunfire in the distance as I interviewed lads from the regiment.”

The 36-year-old correspondent previously reported on the role of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, known as the Welsh Cavalry, back in December 2008, when she went out on vehicle patrols alongside them in Garmsir.

She returned to Helmand again, twice in 2010 and also in May 2012 where she spent time in Babaji and had the opportunity to go on foot patrol with troops from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in Nad Ali and take part in a shura (meeting) with the Afghan National Police.

Back in May of this year, Liz was invited to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in recognition of her reporting from Afghanistan and also for her work with the Royal British Legion in helping to support the Poppy Appeal.