If you're a nervous flyer, the descent into Kandahar Airfield is probably not for you.
Minutes before we're due to land - in the dead of night - the lights on our RAF plane go off and our helmets and flak jackets go on. Just a precaution, we're told. Welcome to Afghanistan.
With that toll rising at an alarming rate, and with Afghans voting to elect a new president, BBC Radio 5 live wanted to see for itself what was happening - how the war against the Taliban was being fought and what life was like for some of those at the sharp end.
So, over the course of the week, we talked to pilots, medics, frontline soldiers, mechanics, an Afghan interpreter and the man in charge of the whole operation in the south of Afghanistan - and therefore in command of most of Britain's forces.
Tales of bravery, dedication and self-sacrifice seemed to be everywhere. From the young men, just out of their teens, clearing a path through minefields, to the nurse caring for the most seriously injured soldiers, it was all pretty humbling.
The scale of the place was startling too: 16,000 servicemen and women, and more military hardware than you could shake a stick at, spread over 45 square km; 290,000 meals are served here every week; nearly four million litres of sewage is produced every day.
And who'd have thought we'd stumble across a Burger King and a Pizza Hut in a place like this?
With the burger bars and coffee shops, it would be quite easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.
If there was any danger of that happening, we were soon reminded of the threats just the other side of the security fence one evening when we were broadcasting into the Drive programme.
A couple of rockets were fired into the base by the local Taliban. The same thing happened the next night - it's a regular occurrence apparently, and it rarely leads to any damage, somebody told us as we dived for cover.
Of course, being on a military airbase, on what's called an "embed" - a trip organised by the Ministry of Defence - gave us a particular perspective on the conflict, not the complete picture.
It didn't mean though that our editorial independence was compromised - we spoke freely to soldiers of many different ranks, and apart from things which may have jeopardised security, nothing was off limits.
Clearly, what we weren't able to do from where we were was to give any sense of how this war is affecting Afghans. That wider context was provided by our correspondents across the country.
But what we were hopefully able to do was add something to our audience's understanding of the conflict.
And as lives continue to be lost - on all sides - with grim regularity, to pose some serious questions: is all this heartache and sacrifice worth it? Is this war making Afghanistan and the world a safer place? Or are those lives being lost in vain?
Liam Hanley is assistant editor on 5 live Drive