RAF BRIZE NORTON S ANNIVERSARY. Souvenir Magazine

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1 RAF BRIZE NORTON S 80 ANNIVERSARY th Souvenir Magazine

2 Editor s Piece 2017 witnesses the 80th Anniversary of RAF Brize Norton. During the last eight decades the Station has been bombed, changed ownership twice, and has seen dramatic changes. This publication has been compiled to celebrate the first 80 years of RAF Brize Norton, and will showcase the Station, its organisations, and people who now operate and work at today s RAF Brize Norton. Squadron Leader Andy Marshall

3 Contents 4 Foreword 4 Message from The Station Commander 5 History of the Station 19 Supporting Wings 18 Lodger Units (including Reserves) 30 The Current Regular Squadrons and Lodger Units (including Reserves) 54 Brize Civilian Agencies 55 Air Cadets 57 Brize People 69 Brize Photos (Brize Aircraft, Tail Art, Brize Art, Ceremonial, People) 86 Annexes (station Commanders, Units through the decades) 3

4 FOREWORD In its 80th Anniversary year, Royal Air Force Brize Norton has reached an important milestone in its history, which it is appropriate to mark and celebrate. The Station came into existence in the mid 1930 s as part of the Royal Air Force s expansion programme, formally opening on the 13th August From the D Day Landings to Operation Desert Storm and beyond, personnel from Brize Norton have participated in every conflict and operation for the past 80 years, either directly deployed or in support, and Brize Norton based units have been instrumental in the success of these operations. RAF Brize Norton, is however, more than just its aircraft, and as you will read, the many non-flying units that have been, and are, based at this Station, have played a significant role in defending our country and projecting military power on behalf of the United Kingdom and its allies. Many RAF Brize Norton personnel have served continuously on the Station for years, some for decades, or have had repeated tours, returning back for the second or third time. Our growing civilian workforce of civil servants and contractors provide continuity which is useful to any organisation, especially one which is as large as Brize Norton. From the Hawker Hart and Airspeed Oxfords of the early years, through the Britannias, Belfasts and VC10s of the 1960s, not to mention the B47s and B52s of Brize Norton s American era, the Station has seen an impressive array of aircraft operating from it, and today we now have modern fleets of C17, C130, Airbus 330 and Airbus 400s providing 24/7 air mobility and global reach. Throughout the last eight decades, RAF Brize Norton has grown and adapted to new operational demands, its personnel and units have responded effectively to changes in its role, and continue to deliver first class support. The proud history of RAF Brize Norton is the result of the last 80 years of military and civilian service and this booklet is a fitting acknowledgement of this. MESSAGE FROM THE STATION COMMANDER RAF Brize Norton has a long and proud record during its first 80 years, reflecting the various milestones in aviation history and global conflict from World War II right up to the supporting current operations against Daesh. Since 1937, RAF Brize Norton has grown from a grass airfield with four landing strips, supporting flying training, to the biggest base in the Royal Air Force providing operational air mobility, and we are still growing and developing, looking to the future. In 2017, we now have the modern platforms to provide the delivery of Defence Air Mobility, but the driving force behind this capability is it s people, Regular and Reserve Service men and women, their families, civil servants and contractors, all working together to provide the world class Air Mobility Force 24/7, and allowing RAF Brize Norton to achieve its mission in Deterring Conflict, Defending the United Kingdom, Defeating the Countries Enemies and Assisting in Times of Crisis. Group Captain Tim Jones 4

5 HISTORY OF THE STATION THE BEGINNING OF BRIZE In 1927, other than the first world war airfield at Witney, there were no airfields in West Oxfordshire; Clanfield had been surveyed but discounted due to liability of flooding. In 1934, as part of the RAF s Expansion Programme, an area in the Parishes of Brize Norton, Black Bourton (which included Carterton) and Bampton was identified and on 6 May 1936, following a decision by Oxfordshire County Council, Witney District Council and the repective Parish Councils, 500 acres of land was acquired, the first turf had been cut and building work commenced. It was originally intended that the airfield was to be named RAF Carterton because the land was mainly within the Carterton Parish, however, as this was thought to be too similar to RAF Cardington, it was decided to name it after the nearby village of Brize Norton. until 13 August 1937 when RAF Brize Norton was officially opened as a Flying Training School, part of No 23 (Training) Group, with an establishment of 90 Officers and 350 other ranks. The airfield had a domestic and technical site with 7 C & D Type hangars. There were no runways, but take-offs and landings could be made in 4 different directions: N-S, NE-SW, E-W (todays runway direction) and SE-NW Plans for The Officers Mess (the Mess was not completed until November 1939) No 6 Maintenance Unit opened on 1 October 1938; it initially handled engine components but evolved into an aircraft storage organisation. Training continued and between March and August 1939, new Harvard and Airspeed Oxford aircraft arrived, replacing their biplane predecessors aerial view of RAF Brize Norton The airfield was neatly bordered by the Bampton to Brize Norton road to the east, the Brize Norton to Carterton road to the north and the Carterton to Black Bourton road to the west. The GWR Witney and East Gloucestershire Railway line ran just to the south; this would prove to be an invaluable asset. Building continued The first unit, No 2 Flying Training School, arrived at Brize on 7 Sep 1937 (before permanent accommodation had been completed) and commenced training using Hawker Hart, Hawker Fury and Hawker Audax aircraft. The first Station open day was held in April 1939 (Empire Air Day) and a crowd of 4,000 people were treated to aerobatics and ground displays. By the end of August 1939, Brize Norton was preparing for war with a camouflaging programme and the arrival, just before the outbreak of hostilities, of B Company (Witney) Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, to defend the airfield. 5

6 The War Years North American Harvard Advanced Trainer In 1940 as Brize Norton entered the second year of World War 2, the Airspeed Oxfords were joined by North American Harvards to provide further aircrew training aerial view of RAF Brize Norton Trainee Crew During the Battle of Britain, the war literally came to the Station on 16 August 1940 when 2 Luftwaffe Junkers 88 aircraft attacked the airfield, dropping 32 bombs. The raid resulted 1 civilian death and 10 Service/civilian injuries; there was also considerable damage to the infrastructure. No 6 Maintainance Unit hangar containing 46 aircraft was completely destroyed. Two other hangars and a number of Station buildings were damaged; most of these are still in use today. Brize suffered 3 more raids in 1940, the last being on 22 November. The August 1940 raid resulted in the training squadrons being dispersed to the nearby satellite stations of Broadwell, Akeman Street and Windrush. In 1942 the Heavy Glider Conversion Unit arrived at Brize Norton with its Airspeed Horsa Gliders and converted Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley bombers used as towing aircraft. These gliders were destined to be used to transport airborne troops into the battle zone. In March 1944 Brize Norton became part of 38 Group; 296 and 297 Sqns arrived with their Armstrong Whitworth Albermarles operating as glider tugs. Hangar 66 on fire on 16 August 1940 and post raid damage 6 Horsa Gliders The training undertaken by these units prepared the force for OPERATION OVERLORD and on 5/6 June 1944 the Albermarles were heavily involved in the invasion of Europe. They dropped Pathfinder troops then men of 5th Parachute Brigade before reverting to the glider towing role to transport airborne reinforcements directly into Normandy. In 1945 as the war drew to a close in Europe, Brize Norton became the temporary home for a number of captured German aircraft. These aircraft were test-flown and evaluated by personnel of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Types flown included the Junkers 88 and the latest German Jets such as the Messerschmitt 262 and Arado 234.

7 Albermarle towing a Horsa glider Of these 130 enemy aircraft of 19 different types, 100 were subsequently dispersed to museums; the remaining 30 were scrapped on site and buried on the south side of the airfield. The Air Transport Auxiliary was formed in 1939 and was tasked with ferrying aircraft on behalf of the armed services. During the war years these people ferried 309,000 aircraft of 147 different types, unarmed, frequently without radios, without instrument flying instruction and at the mercy of the British weather. They were often tasked to deliver a type of aircraft they had never seen before. During World War II, 168 women served in the ATA, and the thought of women flying Spitfires was almost inconceivable at the time, so when they did, they were given a great deal of publicity. Two of these ladies, Mary Ellis and Molly Rose, between them delivered over 100 aircraft (mostly Spitfires) to RAF Brize Norton, the Station being built on land requisitioned by the War Department from the Ellis family in Throughout the war these ladies completed approximately 1,000 sorties. Messerschmitt 262 fighter Arado 234 bomber From the end of the war until 1950 Brize Norton was utilised for a number of roles, the main ones being as the base for the Transport Command Development Unit from 1945 and the Army Airborne Transport Unit from 1946; No 6 Maintenance Unit continued its role on the base. Then the American Air Force moved in during the summer of

8 The American Years ( ) Boeing B-47E opposite what is now JADTEU HQ In June 1950 the first Americans began to arrive at RAF Brize Norton; they formally took control of the base on 16th April From then until mid-1952 a period of reconstruction took place which included extending the runway past what was the old perimeter track along Black Bourton Road. In June B-36E Peacemakers arrived; these were followed later in the year by KB-29 tanker aircraft. In 1958 the 90 day rotations were reduced to 30 day ones and the fully armed aircraft were held on what are now bays Other aircraft that deployed during the 1950s and 60s included B-58 Hustlers and the ubiquitous B-52 Stratofortress. From September 1953 the first B-47 Stratojets arrived for what would eventually become a 12 year stay at the 3920th Air Base Group. These jets and their accompanying KC-97G Stratofreighter tankers would fly over from their home bases on a 90 day rotational deployment. As part of REFLEX alert these aircraft were kept fully armed and ready to fly at a moment s notice against their intended targets behind the Iron Curtain. The B-47E could carry up to 25,000 lbs of conventional ordnance or, from 1958, they could carry 2 x Mk megaton bombs or a single 25 megaton B41. Boeing B-52A Stratofortress in 1964 B41 Mk15 These could be loaded on the flight line but were more regularly armed and disarmed on the looped hardstanding that is now used as the burning pan. As the capabilities of land and sub-launched ICBMs increased, along with the introduction of surface-to-air missile defences against manned aircraft, the Americans gradually recalled their REFLEX alert aircraft back to the States and then, in September 1964, the USAF announced that it would be handing back RAF Brize Norton. Last USAF departure from Brize in April 1965 Convair B36E Peacemaker on dispersal during the 1950s On 3rd April 1965 B-47E of the 380th Bomb Wing had the distinction of being the last aircraft away, marking the end of nearly 12 years of USAF operations at RAF Brize Norton. 8

9 Shorts Belfast Brize in the 1960 s In 1964 it was rumored that Brize Norton would be handed back to the RAF and, on 1 April 1965, this indeed happened when the last active USAF unit moved to RAF Upper Heyford. This ended an important era and the RAF returned to a vital and well-maintained base which was earmarked to become a transport base able to handle the new generation of RAF Transport Aircraft. This decision was made because RAF Lyneham, up to this point the main transport base, did not have sufficiently long runways or the facilities to handle the new VC10 and Belfast aircraft which were coming into service. One early infrastructure project was the 1.7million contract signed for the construction of a hangar able to accommodate 6 VC10/ Belfast sized aircraft. Still in use today it is known as Base Hangar. The building was handed over for use in August 1967; it covered an area of approximately 5 acres and was, at the time, the largest cantilever construction in Western Europe. Aerial View of Base Hangar VC10 serviced in Base Hangar VC10 C-Mk1 During the late 60s, the fleets from Brize Norton established world-wide schedules flying in support of British Forces. Once the new Air Terminal became operational, followed shortly afterwards by the opening of Gateway House, Gateway House Brize Norton replaced Lyneham as the main passenger terminus for long range flights. Lyneham took on the role of the main air cargo hub with their C130Ks and the Brize-based 53 Sqn Belfasts were utilised (as are the C17s today) for outsized-load moves and one-off moves such as in 1968 when 53 Sqn Belfasts flew medical supplies to Vietnam; one flight carried a then record load of 32,061 kgs. By the end of the decade, plans were already in place to move the Britannia Fleet from Lyneham to Brize, in order to make room for the 66 strong C130 fleet. Aerial view of Brize 1965 Air Terminal Other construction projects included the new Air Terminal (which opened in 1968), Gateway House Transit Hotel (which opened in 1969) and the conversion of Hangar 49 into an air cargo facility. At the same time 700 new married quarters were built in Carterton and the main entrance of the Station was re-sited from gate 1 on the Black Bourton Road to its current location. Following its reformation at RAF Fairford in 1965, 53 Sqn moved across to Brize Norton in May 1967 with its Belfast heavy transport aircraft. In July 1966, 10 Sqn reformed and was equipped with VC10 jet transports. This Squadron operated from Lyneham until Brize was ready to take them in May During the first year of operations the VC10 fleet carried more than 40,000 passengers to destinations worldwide. The Brize fleets 1960s

10 Brize in the 1970s In June 1970, following the decision to base the RAF s 66-strong fleet of C130Ks at RAF Lyneham, Brize Norton saw the arrival of the 22 Britannia aircraft of Nos 99 and 511 Squadrons and the move of the Belfast Servicing Flight to RAF Abingdon. Despite the introduction into service of the VC10, the Britannia was still useful to fly to such destinations as Gibraltar, where runway length was too restrictive for VC10s. In July 1970 No 241 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) was reformed to train transport crews. Because of the long runway at Brize, Concorde was a regular visitor from the early 1970s up to 1978 for development and training flights. In 1972 a VC10 and a Belfast accompanied Concorde on its proving flight to the Far East. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July 1974 prompted a rapid generation of the transport fleet to take reinforcements to the island in order to protect the Sovereign Base Areas and to recover 13,430 civilians and dependents back to Brize by 8 August The cuts brought about by the Defence White Paper of 1974 resulted in the early retirement of the Belfast and Britannia fleets in The White Paper also brought about the transfer from RAF Abingdon of the Joint Air Transport Establishment in 1975 and No1 Parachute Training School (PTS) in February These were closely followed by 38 Gp Tactical Communications Wing and the RAF Movements School. 1 PTS brought their 90ft jumping tower (which was erected in the site now occupied by 99 Squadron) and, as today, they also parented the Falcons Parachute Display Team. Bristol Britannia turboprop transport aircraft In April 1978, both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew attended courses at No 1 PTS and qualified for their parachute wings. Brize Norton also was the base for Cotswold Radar and the Support Command Checking Unit. It parented the Red Arrows, then based at RAF Kemble, RAF Bampton Castle, RAF Fairford and RAF Weston on the Green. It was also the parent unit responsible for a number of overseas detachments (Bahrain, Colombo, Gander, McClellan and Guam). No 115 Squadron, the RAF Radar Calibration Unit, arrived in February 1975; initially equipped with Argosy aircraft, these were replaced by Andover E1s starting in Anglo-French Concorde Hawker Siddeley Andover Parachute training hangar with aircraft fuselage 10

11 Brize in the 1980s The early 1980s at Brize Norton saw the arrival of 3 Super VC10s as teaching airframes. Over the next few years the VC10 tanker fleet would increase to 5 K2s and 4 of the more capable K3 variants. Operations on the Station revolved around the routine support of overseas bases and exercises, as well as supporting our Cold War allies with frequent visits by B52s, C5 Galaxies and C141 Startlifters of the USAF. It was because the runway had been extended and strengthened that Brize Norton was chosen as the base for the Tristar aircraft that were to be introduced in the early 1980s. January 1982 saw the formation of No 241 OCU training flight for the VC10 tanker crews of No 101 Squadron. In 1983 the first TriStar arrived and RAF crews, flying under instruction by BA trainers, commenced trooping flights to Canada. No 216 Squadron was formed on 1 November 1983 and in February 1984 a full RAF crew made the first operational flight to Akrotiri. Regular tasking to Ascension Island soon followed and in May 1985 a Tristar started operations to the Falkland Islands following the construction of RAF Mount Pleasant Airfield. Base Hangar was modified with a tail dock to enable Tristars to be serviced. B52s operating out of Brize Norton On 2 April 1982 the Falklands Conflict began when Argentinian forces invaded the islands; 2 days later No 10 Sqn VC10s began what was to become, for the next 5 years, a regular route to Ascension Island as part of OP CORPORATE, flying personnel, stores and ammunition to the South Atlantic and returning with personnel and casualties. The recently sold off Belfast aircraft also made a return to Brize, as part of the Heavylift contract to move priority supplies down South. VC10K2 in Fleet paint scheme Tristar in original colour scheme The first VC10K arrived, the K designation is given to tanker aircraft and No 101 Sqadron was re-formed on 1st May The final VC10K3 was delivered in May 1987, bringing the Squadron up to 9 aircraft. A further 5 VC10K4 variants would later be added. In June 83, the BAe 146 Evaluation Flt was formed within 241 OCU; this operated 2 aircraft until March 85. VC10 on Ascension Island during OP CORPORATE Tactical Communications Wing (TCW), then based at Brize Norton, also deployed with the Falklands Task Force, operating on land and at sea. One of the TCW JNCOs, Corporal Allan Tomlinson, earned a Mention in Dispatches when he was credited with shooting down an enemy aircraft with a GPMG. As a result of lessons learned during the Falklands conflict, two Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons were formed in the summer of No 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Squadron and No 2624 (County of Oxford) Regiment Squadron were recruited locally and have been based at RAF Brize Norton since that time. BAe146 The rest of the decade saw operations continuing to be supported, including the regular Falklands Schedule. In addition, President Gorbachev was hosted in the Officers Mess on 7 December 1987 and a major airfield construction programme commenced in

12 Brize in the 1990s The beginning of the 1990s witnessed the end of the cold war but the next 10 years would see Brize involved in continuous operations, including GRANBY (Iraq,1990), WARDEN/SOUTHERN WATCH (Iraq ), DENY FLIGHT/ GRAPPLE (Bosnia1994), GABRIEL (Ruanda1995) and ENGADINE (Kosovo1999). The Station was adjusting to the post Cold War Glasnost when, on 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. By 9 August No 101 Sqn had deployed, giving AAR support to the Jaguar Force. Further AAR elements of Nos 101 and 216 Squadrons deployed to support RAF, US Navy and other coalition partners. This deployment became OP GRANBY and it saw Nos 10 and 216 Squadrons also providing the Logistical Airbridge from August 1990 through until August 1991, and subsqently beyond, in support of the air policing operations over Iraq up until RAF Movers loading USAF C5 during OP GRAPPLE In March 1999 the VC10 and Tristar fleets again deployed forward to Italy providing support of the Tornado and NATO bombing missions over Kosovo; they also flew in the logistic support role moving troops and freight (OP ENGADINE). The Station again became a major deployment hub. Pink Tristar of 216 Squadron OP GRANBY The 1990s saw many important visitors to Brize Norton, King Hussain of Jordan being a regular visitor. In June 1994 the Station played host to the American President, Bill Clinton, during his visit to the UK at the time of the D-Day 50th Celebrations. To demonstrate a degree of fairness, in October 1994 the Station played host to the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, when he visited the UK. In 1996 No 101 Squadron took over the AAR task in the Falkland Islands when a VC10 became the permanent in-theatre replacement for the C130 Tankers on 1312 Flt; this lasted until 2014 when the Voyager took on this role. VC10K3 refuelling F18 Hornets OP GRANBY Whilst the Squadrons were deployed into Theatre, Brize Norton itself became a major deployment hub through which moved thousands of troops, hundreds of vehicles, and tonnes of ammunition and freight into Saudi Arabia in support of the operation. The crisis in Bosnia/Herzegovina in 1993 led to VC10s of No 101 Sqn being deployed to Sigonella, Italy, as part of OP DENY FLIGHT, later to be replaced by Tristars from 216 Squadron. When the ground deployment (OP GRAPPLE) commenced in 1994, the Station again became a major deployment hub with VC10s and USAF C5 Galaxies moving personnel, vehicles and freight into theatre. Subsequently Bosnia and Italy were added to the busy VC10 scheduled flight itinerary which at that time also included Washington, Belize, Turkey, Saudi Arabia/Kuwait and Cyprus. VC10 refuelling Tornadoes USAF C5 Galaxy at Brize - OP GRAPPLE Air Force One at Brize in June 1994

13 Brize in the 2000s RAF Brize Norton runway work Following on from the previous decade, the beginning of the new millennium saw Brize continue on with its operational tempo; this included the Falklands, the Balkans and the Middle East, together with the normal exercise routine of Canada, Kenya and the USA. The decision to lease 4 of the new American Boeing C17 Globemaster Aircraft and base them at Brize required that new infrastructure had to be built and, in early 2001, the first aircraft arrived to begin their operational work-up as the newly reformed 99 Squadron. The aircraft had a lease program which included a specified number of flying hours, but events in Macedonia in May 2001 soon saw the aircraft use all these hours; a portent for the future. Things settled down again after Macedonia became more stable until September 2001 when, following the attacks in New York and Washington, Brize once again found itself supporting ground forces, this time in Afghanistan. In January 2003, following the passing of a UN Resolution, the United Kingdom once again deployed to the Middle East as part of a coalition (OP TELIC), with VC10s being deployed to Saudi Arabia and Tristars deployed to Bahrain, to reinforce the in-theatre Air to Air refuelling force. At the same time, VC10s and Tristars were providing the vital air-bridge links for deploying force elements. The home base was just as busy! Tristar returning from Afghanistan Up until 2006 No 216 Squadron aircraft operated the air-bridge from Brize to Basrah, with VC10 and Tristar tankers operating out of Bahrain providing vital Air to Air Refuelling capability to coalition air. In August 2005, 99 Squadron received worldwide press coverage when they provided support to the Russian Navy. They flew out a UK ROV rescue craft to assist during the rescue of the 7 man crew of a damaged Russian submarine. It was during this period that the work to repair the runway took place; this meant that aircraft and personnel were bolt-holed to RAF Fairford, a 45 minute road journey away. Following the surrender of the Iraqi forces, British Forces now played a role in stabilising the SE Region of Iraq, with Basrah as its main base. C17 Globemaster VC 10 supporting coalition air C17 being loaded with an UK rescue sub For the personnel in Air Movements Squadron and In-Flight Catering, this meant that additional time was needed to process passengers, freight and meals at Brize adding, in some cases 4 hours onto an average aircraft move. At this time Brize also saw an increase in the use of chartered airlift, especially when the Tristar was re-assigned to support the expanded OP HERRICK in Afghanistan in 2006; this saw charters supporting not only OP TELIC but also taking over the Falkland Island schedule. The end of the decade saw Brize Norton receive, and start to operate, 2 additional C17 aircraft and also, following the closure of RAF Lyneham, begin the work to bring the C130 Force and other elements to Brize. 13

14 Brize Norton since 2010 The decade which started in 2010 began with a severe winter which closed the airfield and was followed in April by the Icelandic volcanic eruption and ash cloud which also had a severe effect on operations. Notwithstanding the unusual weather conditions at its start, the current decade has seen significant changes at RAF Brize Norton. At the same time as continuing operations in the Middle East, the Station saw the arrival of the C130 fleets from RAF Lyneham, the retirement of the Air Transport workhorses, the VC10, C130K and Tristar as well as the increase in size of the C17 Fleet and the arrival of the Airbus 330 Voyager and A400M Atlas. VC10K3 and A330 The VC10 fleet was retired from Service in Nov 2013, followed by the C130K fleet and the Tristar, while at the same time, Brize Norton witnessed the arrival of the A330 Fleet, additional C17 aircraft and the arrival of the first A400M Atlas s. Arrival of C130 Force at Brize Norton Last flight of the Tristar The planning to merge the RAF Lyneham elements (C130 force, 1 AMW, TMW, 47 AD) was already in motion but came to fruition in July 2011 when the C130 Force formally arrived at the Station to be met by the new Station Honorary Air Commodore, HRH Princess Anne. With the closure of RAF Lyneham, RAF Brize Norton also resumes the role as the port of repatriating fallen UK personnel. A new purpose-built Repatriation Centre was constructed; this was used for the first time in September A total of 97 personnel have since been repatriated, including the 30 civilian victims of the Tunisian terrorist attack also saw the Station provide both home-base and deployed support to coalition forces involved in the conflict in Libya (OP ELLAMY). Both Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling units participated in this operation. Last flight of the VC10 September 2013 In the midst of this change, the Station still continued to support operations and, in particular, the draw-down of the British Forces from Afghanistan (OP HERRICK). RAF Air Transport assets, aided by a myriad of chartered civil aircraft, moved thousands of tonnes of freight, vehicles and aircraft through Brize Norton during Airbus A400M C130J, A330 & C17 Arrival of a C17 carrying a fallen Serviceman In late 2011 the first Airbus A330 aircraft arrived at Brize Norton as part of the multi-million pound Air Tanker Public Finance Initiative. These new aircraft replaced the VC10 and Tristar fleets and operate in both the Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling roles. Building continues with the construction of the A400M servicing hangar. 14 Cargo being prepared for loading

15 RAF BRIZE NORTON ASSISTS IN TIME OF CRISIS In September 2017, after a state of emergency was declared by the British Virgin Islands, RAF Brize Norton was tasked with the delivery of aid and personnel to help with the recovery of areas devastated by Hurricane IRMA. At short notice Brize Norton stood up its aircraft squadrons and and personnel to deliver on one of our missions to assist in time of crisis. This is one of the first times that all four of aircraft types operating from Brize Norton has been deployed on the same operation. Freight being loaded to support Op RUMAN

16 In the first week 376,529kgs of freight has left RAF Brize Norton with 1256 passengers and three Puma helicopters. This was a huge Station effort to ensure the crucial aid, specialists including Royal Marines, medics, police and other experts in the field of disaster relief were transported to the Caribbean as quick as possible to begin providing support. The first flight to leave Brize Norton for Barbados was a C-17 Globemaster, flown by 99 Squadron, carrying 52 passengers and 36000lbs of freight which included pallets of shelters and other aid from The Department for International Development (DfID). No. 10 and 101 Squadron flew an A330 Voyager carrying a further 180 passengers on the first day and have continued to transport large numbers of people out to Barbados. Royal Marines, crews for the Puma helicopters, police, Tactical Medical Wing, 1 Air Movements Wing and other specialists have all flown on the Voyager to the Caribbean. Personnel including medics boarding a Voyager for Op RUMAN

17 This was a huge Station effort to ensure the crucial aid, specialists including Royal Marines, medics, police and other experts in the field of disaster relief were transported to the Caribbean as quick as possible to begin providing support. The A400M Atlas has taken freight out to the Caribbean and has also been part of the distributing of personnel and aid to the affected areas. This is the first time the Atlas has been deployed to carry out what it is designed to do which is to take personnel and freight to remote and unprepared landing strips. The aircrafts have also carried out airbourne reconnaissance of islands and airports to make an assessment of the areas. Puma helicopter being loaded onto C-17 Globemaster

18 The C-130J Hercules responded within three hours, transporting personnel and aid to the British Virgin Islands. Each flight has consisted of upto 40 personnel and upto 8 tonnes of humanitarian aid to assist with the restoration of the infrastructure of the affected areas. The Hercules have also transported casualties to Barbados due to the local hospitals being destroyed in the hurricane. No. XXIV Squadron offered support to both LXX Squadron and 47 Squadron throughout the operation. Air Movements Squadron (AMS) have worked around the clock to ensure the aircrafts were loaded with as much freight as possible. Extra personnel were called in to assist with the operation be able to cope with the increased level freight and the urgency at which the UK aid needs to be in flights leaving Brize Norton. The operation would not have been possible without the dedication from AMS personnel. The RAF s 38 Expeditionary Air Wing (38 EAW) was activated and started moving aircraft, freight and passengers from a logistics hub in Barbados. The absolute dedication from all personnel at RAF Brize Norton has been evident from day one. RAF Brize Norton will continue to deliver help and support wherever and whenever it is needed.

19 Air Traffic Control Radar controllers THE MAJOR WINGS OPERATIONS WING Operations Wing traces its roots back to the formation of RAF Brize Norton in 1937 and its role as a flying training unit, leading to its important role in D Day. Although the role and focus of the Station has changed significantly over the years, the requirement that the Station provides operational support to its flying activities has remained extant from the arrival of No 2 FTS in Nov 1937 right up to the current day. 19

20 Flight Planning and Ops Operations Squadron consists of several sections; these include Flight Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and the Mission Support Cell. The Squadron provides the 24/7 operational coordination of all aviation tasks operating into and out of Brize Norton and provides tactical coordination and support for all air transport and air-to-air refuelling sorties ensuring that, within a constantly changing flying programme, aircraft get airborne into local, national and international airspace. Airfield Squadron consists of Flying Complaints, Contingency Plans, Assurance - which also includes the management of RAF Keevil Airfield - and the Ground Handling Operations Team. The Squadron provides support to the Brize NortonStation, and also to RAF Keevil, in order to ensure that a safe operating environment is maintained for both its aircraft and personnel. This includes enabling the Station in its ability to apply contingency in day-to-day business. Fire Section provides 24/7 fire cover for all operations on the airfield at RAF Brize Norton as well as on the the domestic site and in the military accommodation. Air Traffic Control provides a safe and orderly air traffic control service to home based and visiting aircraft. They also are responsible for maintaining, and when required operating, the safety vehicles which can be called upon to support the flying task. Controllers work in a challenging environment and are responsible for ensuring the safety of aircraft of very different performance transport aircraft, fats jets and rotary in very congested airspace. The Station fire section are part of the air traffic control organisation. Signalling with a Very pistol Standards and Evaluation Unit (STANEVAL) is a small cadre of highly-experienced aircrew who are charged with the continuous maintenance of flying standards of Brize Norton aircrew as well as the provision of specialist advice on flying matters to the Station executives. Air Safety Cell is responsible for flight safety across the Station, managing reports of air and ground incidents and in the management of foreign object damage (FOD) prevention. The Meteorological Office based at Brize Norton is manned by a small team of highly qualified weather forecasters and observers who specialise in providing tactical weather information for military aviation. Their responsibilities cover not only Brize Norton, but also down route and deployed destinations, from a few hours to several days ahead. Their work can be crucial in keeping operations going and giving warning in order that the airfield can be kept clear of snow and ice. Local Control C4i Squadron is responsible for all communications and Information Technology facilities at Brize Norton as well as airfield communications and navigational aids.

21 Operations Wing 2017 It has been a busy year so far for Operations Wing as a whole with many sections working towards some major changes. With a completely new IT system being introduced RAF wide, C4I have overseen a successful transition for the entire Station which is now working with the new MOD Net system. There has been continuing work across the airfield with major improvements and additions to the infrastructure, some of which is still ongoing. Whilst continuing to improve existing areas, they have also been working to meet the needs of the new A400M aircraft. All of this has had to be achieved on a fully functioning 24hr operational airfield which has seen a 20% increase in aircraft movements since the days of Op HERRICK. Many units are preparing for, and working towards, the Project Marshall equipment replacement programme which includes a major overhaul of the ATC systems. Brize ATC will become the Radar Hub for the surrounding area and will take over responsibility for airspace previously controlled by 3 other RAF ATC units once the new airspace system is established. There has been continuing work across the airfield with major improvements and additions to the infrastructure, some of which is still ongoing. Engineering and Logistics Wing (ELW) Engineering has been a core function at RAF Brize Norton since the Station opened in As has always been the case, where there is a requirement to operate technical machines, there is also the requirement to maintain and rectify both them and their supporting equipment. Initially, the Station was the home of No 6 Maintenance Unit (MU). This unit s main role was to act as an Aircraft Storage Unit which involved assembling aircraft, issuing them to units and carrying out modifications on the stored aircraft. After the Second World War, the unit was tasked with the conversion and storage of surrendered German Junkers Ju52 3-engined transport aircraft which were to be used to carry civilian passengers. Many aircraft built to be used during the war were no longer needed and the unit began disassembling and scrapping many of these surplus aircraft. This continued up until October 1951 when the unit was disbanded at the time of the handover of the Station to the Americans. The Engineering Wing was reformed at Brize when the RAF returned in From this time up until the present day, the engineering role took on a much more familiar arrangement with individual squadrons carrying out routine maintenance of their aircraft and more intensive in-depth servicing being carried out by support squadrons on the Station. Engineering support squadrons were also established to maintain the non-aircraft equipment necessary to support the Station s activities. The Whole Force concept began many years ago; it was first applied to engineering in At this time a contract with Serco civilianised many off-aircraft engineering roles formerly carried out by service personnel. This process has been expanded over the years and over 500 technicians from 7 different companies now work towards a common goal alongside 1,100 military technicians, servicing aircraft or support equipment at Brize Norton Each aircraft platform now has its own support solution with its own major contractor(s), however, RAF personnel still form the backbone for the maintenance of the Station s fleets. Horsa assembled and ready for action Airspeed Horsa Glider as delivered to No 6 MU 21

22 A landmark of engineering at RAF Brize Norton, Base Hangar is a vast structure covering approximately 22,000 square metres. Completed in August 1967, it cost 1.74 m and at the time was the largest cantilever construction Base Hangar in Western Europe. It was built to house 6 large transport aircraft and has been used throughout its life as a location in which aircraft maintenance and repair can be completed whilst sheltered from the weather. Today Base Hangar still fulfils that role which now includes the fleet of RAF C-17 aircraft undergoing Home Station Checks in sequence. As with all things, Base Hangar has changed since its initial completion; tail docks have been added in order to permit work to be carried out on longer aircraft and project teams have moved into the annexes to be closer to the action. Logistics at Brize Norton Logistics has been a core function at RAF Brize Norton since its opening in Logistics is defined in the military context as the science of planning and carrying out the movement and sustainment of forces. The Logistics Squadron provides supply support to RAF Brize Norton s aircraft, equipment and engineering and other personnel as well as to lodger and supported units. An efficient and capable Logistics system is a critical component of the operational effectiveness of a unit. Having served as a training unit and then as the base for No 6 Maintenance Unit during WW2, on 31 December 1945 RAF Brize Norton was transferred from Flying Training Command to Transport Command and became the home of the Transport Command Development Unit. Simultaneously, the Squadron supports the RAF s entire fleet of specialist vehicles and ground support equipment at the Station or deployed overseas on operations. The USAF took over control of the Station on 16 April 1951 and began flying operations during the increasing tensions of the Cold War. The Station came back under RAF control on 1 April 1965, resuming its role as a Transport Command airfield. Following a name change in August 1967, Brize became an Air Support Command airfield. Ever since there has been a steady build-up of personnel and facilities as RAF Brize Norton became the Strategic Air Transport base for the RAF. It was the task of the Supply Wing to manage the supply chain for all elements of the airfield including aircraft, accommodation and ground vehicles. With increasing outsourcing to civilian contractors, the responsibilities of Supply Wing changed over the years. For example, the management of the married quarters and messes was transferred to civilian contractors in Today, RAF Brize Norton would not operate effectively without a number of support services run under Multi-Activity Contracts (MAC). One of the biggest changes to Logistics at RAF Brize Norton was the creation of the Airport of Embarkation Wing (APOE) in 2004; This Wing took over a number of functions previously managed by Supply Wing. Fuels and Lubricants. Catering and Air Movements united within a single command structure. The creation of APOE Wing ensured that RAF Brize Norton has an effective capability that links the UK and Operational Theatres, guaranteeing the speedy and efficient deployment and sustainment of UK forces. The remaining elements of Supply Wing then formed the Logistics Squadron which fell under the command of the Engineering Wing creating the Engineering and Logistics Wing (ELW). The closure of RAF Lyneham in 2012, and the subsequent relocation of aircraft and personnel to RAF Brize Norton, caused an increased workload for most areas within the Logistics Squadron. The resultant increase from 5 to 7 diverse flights meant the Squadron was able to meet the future requirements set out in Programme Future Brize, which was later renamed Programme Gateway. Today, the Logistics Squadron continues to support the provision of all Station Logistics, providing flexible management and storage of spares 24 hours a day in close liaison with civilian contractors and industry partners. Squadron personnel work to deliver spares to aircraft around the globe and even deploy with the spares in a support role. Simultaneously, the Squadron supports the RAF s entire fleet of specialist vehicles and ground support equipment at the Station or deployed overseas on operations. 22 RAF Brize Norton from the air in 1943

23 Engineering and Logisitics Wing ELW is a large Wing with some 600 personnel serving on 4 squadrons and numerous flights and sections. Each of these focus on providing support to the various wings and squadrons which are either based at, lodged at or parented by Brize Norton. ELW also is the parent unit to the Station s Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations (CAMOs). The last 12 months have continued to be as busy as ever, with A400M support requirements ramping up, the expansion of C17 capability, C130J continuing to deliver at a high operational tempo and with Voyager deployments also needing support whilst the Wing ensures that underpinning assurance activity is carried out. During the last 12 months, Engineering Support Squadron have provided Survival Equipment support to 25 detachments on exercises and operations in 10 different countries whilst also providing support to A400M trials. The Oxygen Bay has provided specialist support on multiple occasions to parachute exercises in support of the RAF and Army and has also played a crucial role in support of C17 High Altitude Air Drop trials and A400M trials. Armament Engineering Flt have provided armaments support to operational and exercise detachments for the C130J, as well as providing vital specialist support at Brize Norton for the safe handling and storage of explosive stocks and freight destined for theatre. Furthermore, they have provided crucial expertise to support the introduction to service of the new countermeasures system adopted for A400M and are leading the development of the training and documentation required to support this new capability, both at home and on deployment. C17 engine being loaded for down route engine change Ground Engineering Flight s primary focus over the last 12 months has been adapting to the modernisation of aircraft support equipment and specialist vehicles support, meeting the requirements of new aircraft types, preparing for a transition to a whole force manning solution with increased reliance on contracted support. They have achieved all this whilst remaining sufficiently flexible to deploy specialist support when needed. Personnel have deployed on Op SHADER and have provided technical expertise to assist in the recovery of a C17 from Juba in South Sudan. Logistics Squadron have been equally busy. Mobility Supply Flight (MSF) have been very busy supporting the Defence Exercise Program and Contingent Operations. They have provided down-route supply and movements support to the 4 Air Mobility Force aircraft types based at RAF Brize Norton. The past 12 months have seen MSF support over 30 Exercises; personnel have set foot in over 20 countries in the process. Highlights of the year would have to be Ex EASTERN HAWK, during which MSF teams supported the Red Arrows tour across Asia and also Op AUSTRAL ENDURANCE - supporting Air Drops over Antarctica to the British Antarctic Survey Team. View from C130 Sgt Swallow on C130 Ramp in Antarctica In addition to these exercises, members of MSF have also supported the Voyager in F35 Lightning 2 aircraft air-to-air refuelling trials, the C17 in new capability trials and a myriad of parachuting exercises including support to Airborne Delivery Wing and the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team. Logistics Squadron have also been heavily involved with Programme GATEWAY, utilising external assistance to good effect to ensure that resources are deployed where they are needed. Considerable internal effort has been focussed on improving the ways in which all the materiel used across the Station is accounted for. The Station will be able to better demonstrate to external agencies that taxpayers money is being managed appropriately through the introduction of improved internal assurance procedures. SAC Young planning load for return from Ex RED FLAG ELW has also been focussed on improving the way that the continuing airworthiness of Brize based aircraft is managed; the CAMOs are working well with the Squadrons to find innovative ways of exploiting maintenance data to improve both availability and airworthiness. Engineering and Logistics at Brize Norton have changed out of all recognition during the last 80 years, with contractor involvement being the most significant development. Both functions are an essential part of the Station s operational output and will continue to be in the future. 23

24 Base Support Wing (BSW) BSW traces its roots back to the opening of RAF Brize Norton in 1937 and the role and focus of the Station has changed significantly over the years. However, the requirement to feed, accommodate, protect, train and administer the resident population, promote and maintain positive relations with the local population and to maintain the Station establishment and infrastructure has remained a constant, from the arrival of No 2 FTS in Nov 1937 right up to the current day. BSW stretches across the entire real estate of RAF Brize Norton through its Messes, training real estate, and welfare facilities. The organisation that would become BSW was housed in the original Station HQ building in 1937; it returned to this location following the handing back of the Station from the USAF in The Luftwaffe attack in August 1940 did not spare BSW, as can be seen from the repair work required directly outside of SHQ. In recent years, BSW has assumed the lead in the delivery of repatriation activity at RAF Brize Norton. This role commenced in 2003 during Op TELIC; it was transferred to RAF Lyneham between 2007 and 2011 but is once again back with Brize Norton following the amalgamation of both units. In all that it does, BSW aims to provide the most effective and efficient base for the RAF Brize Norton community as they support the delivery of world class Air Mobility. Historically, BSWs across the RAF have been known as Administration Wing ; the predecessor of the Wing we know today first started out as Admin Wing and was commanded by Wing Commander Bradshaw in A year after the Wing s formation RAF Brize Norton was handed over to the USAF 7503rd Air Wing on 16 Apr Following the departure of the USAF and return of the RAF, the role of the Wing has subtlety changed over the years as various elements have transferred between different organisations. BSW has, however, maintained the same core values and mission: to fight the home fight whilst RAF Brize Norton personnel are deployed on operations at home or aboard. Certain organisations have remained core to BSW; these include: Personnel Management Squadron (PMS) is responsible for Human Resources Management including discipline, pay and allowances, community support, welfare provision and, more recently, Transition Support Flight. Station Services Squadron (SSS) is responsible for all estate management issues, together with overseeing discipline, single living accommodation and the Central Registry. Originally known as Catering Squadron, the Contract Monitoring Team (CMT) covers many of the traditional responsibilities of Catering Squadron and is still established with a Catering Flight. It also works in close liaison with SERCO to deliver the Multi-Activity Contract; this covers many of the vital support functions delivered at RAF Brize Norton. BSW 2017 Base Support Wing s Mission is to provide integrated and essential administrative, police, security and specialist support to deployed operations and RAF Brize Norton in order to enable the generation of air power. The Wing has a vision to be A Base Support Wing for the 21st Century. The seven distinctive Squadrons of Base Support Wing (BSW) have continued to provide a wide range of personnel management services whilst also providing pivotal support to the Station including infrastructure, welfare, facilities management, training, education, security, medical, dental, chaplaincy, media and health and safety. During the last year, the Health and Safety and Media and Communications teams have become part of BSW s structure. The Media team, in the last year, have facilitated many national filming projects on Station including documentaries and news items. The Community Support team have worked hard to improve life for the families of those deployed on operations across the world; this has included arranging trips to Cotswold Wildlife Park for families of deployed personnel, as well as other social events for their families. Administrative support at Brize Norton has developed considerably during the life of the Station and the last 12 months have seen more changes. The fundamental function of looking after the administration, life support and welfare of Station personnel remains unchanged, allowing them to maintain their operational focus of air mobility. Force Development Squadron (FDS) provides RAF Brize Norton with its core avenue for training and development. Its various spokes cover physical training, military skills and deployment training, personal and professional development and resettlement activities. Integrally linked to BSW are RAF Police Flight, which is responsible for ensuring the security of the Station in conjunction with the Military Provost Guard Service Platoon and the Chaplaincy which remains closely involved with PMS to deliver pastoral and specialised welfare support to Station personnel and their families. 24 Community Support Opening Halton Park

25 Airport of Embarkation (APOE) Wing APOE Wing was established in 2004 to enable the Air Mobility Force to operate from RAF Brize Norton and deliver the Defence Gateway to operations. Comprising a variety of highly skilled personnel, APOE Wing manages the airport functions of this very large and extremely dynamic Station. Although a relatively new formation, the components that make up APOE Wing have a distinguished history. The formation of the Logistics Branch can be traced back to the days of the Royal Flying Corps, a Force that was made up of professional pilots and observers with no other specialised role. However, it soon became apparent that there was a need for a role focused on engineers and stores. As such, the first Equipment Officers were created. A few years later, on 21 October 1919, the Air Ministry published its Weekly Orders and, by Command of the Air Council, the Stores Officer was born. The Stores Branch was established to deal with all stores and accounting for stores in the Royal Air Force. It is from the Stores Branch that the majority of the specialisations that make up APOE Wing evolved. In 1965, the same year that the RAF took back control of RAF Brize Norton from the American Air Force, Air Movements Squadron (AMS) was formed. AMS personnel undertook all passenger and freight processing for the VC10s, Bristol Britannias and Short Belfast aircraft that were then based at RAF Brize Norton. Nearly 2 decades later, in 1984, AMS started to handle the Tristar aircraft Short Belfast as a HeavyLift Charter aircraft operated by 216 Squadron. The Tristar and VC10, along with a mix of charter aircraft, became the main aircraft handled by AMS for many more years. On 23 May 2001 the RAF s first C17 arrived at Brize Norton. Ten years later flying operations at RAF Lyneham ceased and all the RAF s fixed wing Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) aircraft were consolidated at RAF Brize Norton. With its fleet of next generation A400M, C-17, C130J and Voyager platforms, RAF Brize Norton is the largest main operating base in the RAF. In consequence, APOE Wing is the biggest Air Movements wing. APOE Wing is parent unit of the Mechanical Transport and Fuels Squadron (MTFS). MTFS evolved from the Station s Transport Squadron following the relocation of assets from RAF Lyneham. With approximately 500 vehicles, MTFS now operates one of the largest and most diverse fleets of specialist airfield support vehicles in the RAF. Military catering has existed as long as armies have marched to fight. In the early days it was done by servants and family-supporting individuals. The benefits of group catering emerged during the Crimean War when Alexis Sawyer created a large portable stove that could be used to make stews and soups for the masses. (It is said that the provision of nutritious food saved more lives than Florence Nightingale!) The first operational rations were introduced in WW1, with the role of nutrition becoming more widely recognized. It was not until 1948, however, that the Catering Branch was created. APOE Wing manages Gateway House (GWH), the Station s 337-bed accommodation and feeding facility. This important organisation operates 24/7, 365 days a year to accommodate and cater for Defence passengers transiting through the Station and travelling on RAF and chartered flights to destinations around the globe. GWH also houses the largest In-Flight catering facility in the RAF. MTFS is also responsible for supplying aviation fuel to meet the demands of the Station s AT and AAR Force as well as to all visiting aircraft. With a fuels Airfield Support Vehicles infrastructure system capable of holding approximately 26 million litres of aviation fuel, APOE Wing manages one of the largest aviation fuel facilities in Europe. In order to provide a comprehensive suite of ground aviation services at RAF Brize Norton, APOE Wing took over responsibility for the airport handling service agents in Following the demise of Total Aviation in 2014, all ground aviation services are now provided through APOE Wing s Serco Ramp Services department under a multi-activity Contract. The current organisation is composed of a variety of technical aviation services, the roots of which can be traced back to the pre-raf era. 25

26 APOE Wing 2017 During the last 12 months, Air Movements Squadron (AMS) has undergone a wholesale transformation following the reduction in strength from 347 to 222. The shift patterns have been redesigned and the construct of each flight has been revised in order to maintain the maximum output and flexibility using the reduced manpower resources. The changes have seen the passenger flight move to a new operating model which accords with civilian aviation best practice; 39 personnel now provide cover in the Passenger Handling Facility 24/365. The Cargo Section are now autonomous from the traffic flights, enabling them to develop SQEP within their workforce, including the regeneration of Dangerous Goods (DG) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The Squadron has also benefitted from a closer working relationship being forged with 29 Regt (RLC) at the Joint Air Mounting Centre, with collaborative working to improve the overall standard of unit freight preparation. AMS has continued to provide essential support to Defence Operations; calling forward and preparing all air freight prior to loading the 2Gp AT/AAR and Civilian Charter aircraft destined for worldwide destinations. AMS have also fully supported the Defence Exercises Programme, both at the home base and overseas, whilst also enabling the plethora of Defence Engagement activities such as Ex EASTERN HAWK / EASTERN VENTURE. In addition to their primary duties, AMS personnel have also deployed on Force Development opportunities including staff rides, adventurous training, conferences, seminars and exhibitions. Personnel have also been deployed in support of Operations and Exercises across the globe, completing troops to task activity for the HQ AIR A4 Movements Role Office on both Atlas A400M and C17 aircraft alongside 1 AMW UKMAMS personnel. This collaborative working will become more pervasive in the future under Project HADRON which will see AMS merge with 1AMW under 38Gp in Aug 17. AMS have also had a Reservist Duty Air Movements Officer (DAMO) mobilised from 4624 RAuxAF Squadron to backfill for a Regular DAMO who was deployed to the Falkland Islands for a 6 months detachment, so demonstrating a Whole Force approach. AMS has also continued to work together with Programme GATEWAY to shape the Future Airport Support Contract at RAF Brize Norton whilst also working with HQ AIR Infra to address the significant infrastructure challenges surrounding the Freight Handling Facility. MTFS continue to provide aviation and ground fuels together with transport and airfield services to support the increasing flying programme at Brize Norton. While parts of the fixed fuel infrastructure undergo extensive refurbishment works, requiring the temporary use of a portable fuel bulk installation, the Airfield Support Flight has, in response, increased aircraft fuel bowser operations by five times its normal workload, in addition to completing all routine tasking. ASMT Large Aircraft Tug A mild winter meant there was little requirement for snow clearance but aircraft and operating surface de-icing kept the airfield operating throughout. MT Training has provided instruction across a range of specialist vehicle platforms to personnel from Brize Norton in addition to units from the Royal Navy, the Army and the wider RAF. Station MT Operations have reacted to calls for improved efficiencies within Defence by restructuring their manpower to meet the demands of a modern day Brize Norton. Fuels Flight operates the largest fuels infrastructure footprint in the RAF, issuing approximately 12 million litres of aviation fuel each month. All of this work has been completed while providing personnel from the MT and Supply trades for numerous operational detachments, exercise support and contingency tasking. This has not stopped Squadron personnel from completing Force Development activities, hosting the French Military Fuels Agency as well as conducting reciprocal visits to multiple UK international airports to share ideas and develop best practice, thus ensuring the Squadron continues to provide the best possible service to our customers.

27 Airborne Delivery Wing (ADW) We ought to have a corps of at least 5000 parachute troops...i hear something is being done already to form such a corps but only, I believe, on a very small scale. Advantage must be taken of the summer to train these troops... Winston Churchill April The Central Landing Establishment was formed soon after Churchill s statement at RAF Ringway, near Manchester on 21st June 1940 and was initially designed primarily as a parachute training school and experimentation centre. On 19th September 1940 the School was expanded into the Central Landing Establishment RAF, divided into a Parachute Training School (PTS), a Technical Unit and a Glider Training Squadron. Their tasks were to train parachute troops, glider pilots and aircrew for airborne operations, to develop the tactical handling of airborne troops, to carry out technical research and to recommend future requirements. In addition, the Parachute Servicing Flight was relocated from RAF Henlow where it had been since its creation in 1926; this allowed the school to be independent and virtually selfsufficient. The first British Airborne Operation (Op COLOSSUS) was carried out by 40 of the original Commandos at the Apulia Aqueduct in Italy on 10 February Although the Operation encountered several setbacks, the aqueduct was destroyed and this success served as a significant morale booster to the newly formed airborne establishment. The technical and operational lessons learnt from the Operation also helped with the planning and execution of future airborne operations. Ground Training circa 1940 On 9th July 1941 PTS became known as No 1 PTS, a self-contained Unit. Additional transport was provided by the RAF and expansions of the training establishment with Flying and Glider Training Schools took place to keep pace with the expansion of the 1st Airborne Division. HQ 38 Wing RAF was formed to co-ordinate increased Army/ Air training and operational requirements. Over the years No 1 PTS has been directly involved in the airborne assaults in Sicily, Normandy, Arnhem and the Rhine crossing. In 1946, No 1 PTS moved to RAF Upper Heyford, using RAF Westonon-the-Green as the training drop zone. In 1950 No 1 PTS moved again to RAF Abingdon and then finally in April 1976 it moved to its current home at RAF Brize Norton. It was during these transitions that the Parachute Servicing Flight detached itself from PTS and relocated to RAF Hullavington before a final move to RAF Brize Norton where, on the 1st Nov 1997, it was re-organised to become part of the Engineering Branch and suitably renamed the Parachute Engineering Flight and latterly the Parachute Engineering Squadron. Exercise infill over Salisbury Plain in 2008 ADW was officially established on the 1st November 2009 and brought together all the military elements that deliver troops and resources by parachute to both land and sea; it remains at the forefront of current Operations. Its personnel remain focussed on delivering high quality basic and advanced training, specialist advice and operational support to all 3 Services in order to enable the viable theatre entry capability of UK airborne troops and their equipment, utilising a number of parachute types. ADW has a total of165 personnel of which 10 are reservists. During the last 12 months it has moved into the final phase of Project Newnham, the reorganization of ADW based on its separate functions. From the beginning it was obvious that changes in location would be required for some personnel and the different Squadron Commanders considered these moves after speaking to key stakeholders. The output of ADW has not lessened through the year with over 14 ab initio courses being delivered to Special Forces and Airborne personnel; in addition its personnel have supported over 46 exercises both in the UK and at a range of overseas locations. To support the training output and in preparation for the introduction of the A400M, the training hanger received both a deep clean and the installation of a full scale fuselage A400M mock-up. Personnel have also undertaken personal development using both AT and a battlefield tour of Arnhem that coincided with the annual mass airborne drop. Freefall student under training at 12,000 ft in 2017 OC PTS (Squadron Ldr Maurice Newnham) inspection 9th July

28 Efforts to support Cpl Rob Bugden, a RAF PJI on his road to recovery following a life changing injury, continued from 2016 with a Row for Rob initiative spreading across the RAF that resulted in raising over 32,000. Airportability Section (AP) develops techniques and procedures for the loading and restraint of vehicles and equipment in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The 2017 season got off to a spectacular start for the RAF Falcons as their first display of the season was into Buckingham Palace to support a Garden Party hosted by Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, for Children who had lost a Service parent. Helicopter & Training Section (HELS & TRG) develops lifting schemes and gives advice on the carriage of vehicles and equipment under all types of helicopters. The training team are the sole UK provider of training in helicopter handling, abseiling and fast roping; they provide advice to all UK Defence and security agencies. Falcons jumping at Buckingham Palace Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) JADTEU is a whole force unit that provides aerial delivery solutions to the defence network; everything from people and stores, to vehicles and equipment is tested and evaluated by the unit. Parachute Test Team (PTT) are the primary trials agency for the developmental and operational testing of airborne forces equipment; they deliver tactically effective drills and procedures for training and operations. Its origins began at RAF Brize Norton in 1946 when the AATDU and TCDU collaborated in the field of aerial delivery testing; in 1968 the two units were amalgamated and Joint Air Transport Establishment (JATE) was established. The unit became part of the Air Warfare Centre in 1998 and received its MAA DAOS (Design Approval Organisation Scheme) approval in 1999 before being renamed JADTEU in It has been continually involved in civil operations, such as disaster relief for the Philippines in 2013, as well as providing continuous support to military operations in the UK and overseas. Aerial Delivery Section (AD) carries out operational test and evaluation of all aerial delivery systems delivered under parachute in order to provide safe, tactically sound and effective procedures to meet tri-service requirements. 28

29 JADTEU 2017 Over the last 12 months JADTEU personnel have travelled around the globe conducting trials, exchanges and Force Development activities. Airportability Section personnel have supported Op BARKHANE, deploying on RAF C17s as part of a UK government commitment to clear French equipment for air transportation to Central Africa. In addition to French operations, the UK s mission in the region, Op TRENTON, has also required significant air transport clearance support. The Helicopter Section Training Team have delivered courses in Brunei and Ireland, whilst the under-slung load trials team have moved a former RN Sea Harrier from Filton Airfield and a fire tender from Tenby to Caldey Island in addition to their core military trials tasks. The Parachute Test Team has conducted the first free-fall descents from an RAF C17 and, working with Airbus, the first Low Level Parachute descents from the A400M. Finally, the Air Despatch Team have completed a significant piece of joint trials activity with their counterparts in the US that has enabled the UK s 16 Brigade (Parachute Regiment) equipment to be dropped from US aircraft, culminating in Ex SWIFT RESPONSE in June In terms of wider activities, Capt Herby Herbert conducted an exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force equivalent of JADTEU, returning with a number of positive opportunities for achieving common procedures and clearances. In December the engineering team visited Defence s only other DAOS organisation, 1710 NAS in Portsmouth. Although their focus is in different areas of expertise, the visit was widely regarded as being worthwhile. However, the highlight for 2017 was the 2-week Force Development trip to Vietnam when 16 members from across the different JADTEU Sections conducting a Battlefield Study of the Vietnam conflict with a particular focus on the areas of aerial delivery, resupply and sustainment of military operations in the field. Finally, in celebration of 70 years of Joint trials activity at RAF Brize Norton and to mark the 40th/70th anniversary of the move of JATE from RAF Abingdon to RAF Brize Norton, 120 former and current members of the organisation attended an excellent dining-in-night in the Officers Mess. In summary, for such a relatively small organisation, JADTEU remains vital to enabling and sustaining deployed Defence operations whilst still managing to achieve a very good work/life balance. 29

30 THE CURRENT REGULAR SQUADRONS OF BRIZE NORTON 10 SQUADRON On 1st January 1915 No 10 Squadron was formed at Farnborough, Hampshire. The Squadron motto is Rem acu tangere which means To hit the mark ; this matches with the Squadron crest which is a winged arrow. In July 1915 the Squadron deployed to France with its BE2Caircraft and flew army co-operation sorties on the Western Front. The Squadron played a very significant role s during the Battle of Arras in April Post Armistice and prior to returning to the UK, 10 Squadron spent some time carrying out reconnaissance over Germany. After returning to the UK in February 1919 the inevitable happened, with no peacetime role the Squadron was disbanded. In January 1928, 10 Squadron was reformed as part of RAF Bomber Command; based at RAF Upper Heyford the unit flew Handley Page Hyderabad aircraft. In 1931 the Squadron moved to RAF Boscombe Down. A variety of biplanes were flown during the 1930s; these included the Handley Page Hinaidi, Vickers Virginia and Handley Page Heyford. In January 1937 the Squadron was moved again, this time to RAF Dishforth as part of No 4 Group, Bomber Command. It was at this location that they received their first monoplane bomber, the Armstrong Whitworth Whitely. 10 Squadron was tasked with leaflet dropping raids over Germany until late 1941 when they received their first Handley Page Halifax bombers. The Squadron operated as part of the heavy bomber force and were used for night attacks; these included missions over Rotterdam, Boulogne docks, Turin and Genoa. In May 1945 the Squadron was transferred to Transport Command, now operating the Douglas Dakota in India. It was then disbanded again for a second time in December 1947, only to reform a year later for the Berlin airlift when 238 Squadron was renumbered to 10 Squadron and operated out of Lubeck in Germany. As soon as the blockade was lifted, however, the Squadron was disbanded once again. Sqn parades its new Armstrong Witworth Whitley aircraft in Squadron Handley Page Halifax Victors

31 For a short period in the 1950s 10 Squadron operated the English Electric Canberra, most notably participating of the Suez Crisis. The period 1958 until 1964 saw another spell as part of Bomber Command, however, this time they were based at RAF Cottesmore flying Handley Page Victors as part of the UK s V force. The Victor was capable of carrying either 10 Squadron Handley Page a nuclear weapon, or up to 35 x 1,000lb bombs; it was the first large aircraft to break the sound barrier and reached top speeds of over 600mph. In July 1966 at RAF Fairford, 10 Squadron took delivery of the Vickers Armstrong VC10CMk1 aircraft; the following year it relocated to its current base at RAF VC10 Brize Norton. The aircraft was in service for nearly 50 years and supported operations in the Gulf in 1991, Iraq in 2003 as well as Libya in In 2005 all the aircraft were transferred to 101 Squadron and 10 Squadron was disbanded once again. It was reformed in 2011 to operate the RAF s new long-range transport and tanker aircraft, the Airbus A330 Voyager. The Voyager has been heavily involved in the drawdown of operations in Afghanistan, as well as continuing to support ongoing operations in the Middle East. Over the last one hundred years 10 Squadron has been involved in almost all of the UKs major operations and has been awarded many battle honours, ranging from the Western Front in 1915 to Iraq in 2003; these can be seen emblazoned on the Squadron standard. A330 Voyager air to air refuelling Mens Agitat Molem Mind Over Matter 101 SQUADRON 101 Squadron was formed on 12 July 1917 at South Farnborough under the command of Major The Honorable L J E Twisleton- Wykeham-Fiennes. The Squadron deployed to France two weeks later and, equipped with the Farman Experimental FE2b, flew predominantly in the specialist night bombing role throughout the war until it was disbanded on 31 December Squadron was reformed on 21 March 1928 at RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk as an experimental flying unit before reequipping with the revolutionary Boulton and Paul Overstrand in January With this aircraft, 101 Squadron lead Farman Experimental FE2b the introduction of powered gun turrets into RAF service, a milestone commemorated by the castle turret on 101 Squadron s official badge. A sign of things to come, the Squadron also participated in early air-to-air refueling trials. Bolton and Paul Overstrand (showing powered nose gun turret) 31

32 Avro Lancaster being prepared for a mission 101 Squadron started World War II flying the Bristol Blenheim before being re-equipped with Vickers Wellingtons; it was with this aircraft that it participated in the first 1,000 bomber raid. On September 1942 the Squadron re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster before moving to RAF Ludford Magna, its spiritual home to this day, on 15 June The Squadron s most notable contribution came when it started operating the AIRBORNE CIGAR radio jamming equipment that it used to disrupt German fighter communications. Throughout the war 101 Squadron flew more sorties than any other Bomber Command Squadron and, sadly, lost more aircrew than any other Squadron in the RAF; 1,176 of 101 Squadron s aircrew were killed in action. On 25 May 1951, 101 Squadron became the RAF s first jet bomber squadron when it re-equipped with the English Electric Canberra medium bomber. Having taken part in the Malaya and Suez campaigns with this aircraft, the Squadron was disbanded in February Reformed at RAF Finningley in October 1957, 101 Squadron became the RAF s second Avro Vulcan bomber squadron and the first to be armed with British Hydrogen bombs. Canberra In July 1963 the Squadron set the world record for the fastest flight from the UK to Australia at 17 hours and 50 minutes. In 1982 the Squadron set another record for the longest bombing mission in history when it flew an 8,000 mile round trip to drop the first bombs on the Falkland Islands before it was again disbanded on 4 August. On 1 May Squadron reformed at RAF Brize Norton in the air-to-air refuelling role. Equipped with the Vickers VC10K2 and K3, and later the K4 variant, the Squadron celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 1987 by breaking its own UK to Australia record by flying from Brize Norton to Perth in just under 16 hours. 32 Vulcan dropping 21 x 1,000lb bombs Throughout the 1990s, the Squadron took part in Gulf War I, and its aftermath, as well as in operations over Yugoslavia before being called on to support operations over Afghanistan from 2001 and Iraq from On 1 October 2013 the Squadron re-equipped with the Voyager KC2 and KC3 aircraft. Based on the Airbus A , the Voyager can carry 291 passengers and eight pallets of freight whilst conducting air-to-air refuelling. Operating this multi-role aircraft, 101 Squadron played a critical part in supporting British and Coalition operations in Afghanistan, including the withdrawal of British forces from that country, flying the last Voyager out of Camp Bastion Airfield. Today 101 Squadron crews continue to be deployed in the Gulf and the Falkland Islands as well as supporting, in both the AAR and AT roles, a multitude of global commitments for the UK Armed Forces. 101 Squadron Voyager refueling RAF Tornado and Typhoon VC10 Refuelling sortie during Op GRANBY

33 Voyager Force Today Today 10 Squadron and 101 Squadron, working with Air Tanker as the Voyager Force, continue to train aircrew as they build up towards full strength whilst flying both AT and AAR missions that include Op SHADER tasking at the rate of 12 sorties per week. With 10 Squadron being heavily involved in its development, July 16 saw the first task of a specially re-fitted Voyager for VIP duties, carrying the Prime Minister, his aides, and media. In September 16, Air Tanker Services declared Full Service Voyager with Typhoons Delivery of the Voyager; this coincided with full manning on both Squadrons being achieved. Having supported the deployment of Typhoon for Ex EASTERN VENTURE in September 16, the Voyager Force took part in their first major exercise in the AAR role in January Ex RED FLAG has a reputation for dynamic and demanding flying, simulating an Operational environment, like no other Exercise. The Voyager delivered in spades, winning several awards throughout the Exercise. Voyager VIP fit Air Tanker 2017 During the last 12 months Air Tanker has continued to increase its operational reach following achievement of the Full Service Date in September 2016 with the delivery of the full 14-strong fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft. We welcomed our 1 millionth passenger on-board in July, highlighting the growth of our operations since they began in We continue to maximise the potential of the fleet and our crews by leasing aircraft from the non-core fleet into the commercial market when spare capacity is identified in 2017 we introduced two additional civil leases and now three aircraft operate within the commercial market. The Voyager took part in the Queen s Birthday Flypast, a great demonstration of partnership and collaboration across Defence, and we were proud to celebrate the centenary of No 101 Squadron in July when they paraded in front of a Voyager aircraft, reviewed by HRH The Princess Royal. Since operations began, the Voyager has flown to 187 destinations and has delivered over 80,000T of fuel to over 21,000 aircraft through Air-to-Air Refuelling. Air Tanker continues to work in partnership with both Nos10 and 101 Squadrons through operations, exercises and the introduction of the Enhanced Cabin Voyager; we also welcome and support opportunities to collaborate and share best practice with our NATO allies. In omnia parati - Prepared for all things Royal Flying Training, Duke of Windsor 24 SQUADRON XXIV Squadron was formed in 1915 at Hounslow. The first permanent CO was Major Lanoe Hawker who was the first fighter pilot to win the Victoria Cross and the first ever British Ace. The Squadron deployed to St Omer in France on 7 February 1916 flying its DH2 aircraft, making XXIV Squadron the first single-seat fighter Squadron to be formed or used in World War I. Major Hawker turned XXIV Squadron into a formidable fighting unit within the RFC. De Havilland DH2 replaced by DH5 in May 1917 During the late 1920s the Squadron earned the distinction of being the training unit assigned to the Royal Family, many of whom learned to fly with XXIV Squadron. The Squadron also had a wider VIP role with the Fairey IIIF and numbered among its passengers the Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill and Ramsay MacDonald. World War II, the Squadron was operating Hudsons which, during the siege of Malta ( ), carried more than 6,080 passengers and 1,300,000 lbs of freight to the beleaguered island in 10,000 flying hours. The Dakota was delivered to XXIV Squadron in 1943 and played an important role on D-Day carrying supplies to Allied forces. Squadron Dakotas went on to play a prominent role in the Berlin Airlift. Douglas Dakota D Day and Berlin Air Lift

34 C130K delivering urgent humanitarian aid From 1950 XXIV Squadron operated the Handley Page Hastings until this was replaced by the Hercules C130 in January Amongst many successful Squadron operations flown in this aircraft was the famine relief aid to Nepal undertaken in Operation KHANA CASCADE was the largest airlift performed by the RAF since Berlin. Air Mobility OCU role 24 Squadron 2017 In RAF Brize Norton s 80th year, XXIV Squadron fulfils the role of Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit. Following its relocation to RAF Brize Norton in 2011, XXIV Squadron under took a transition from being a purely front-line unit into one focusing on delivering excellence and efficiency in training. Since entering service in 1999, the C130J has proven itself on operations worldwide and in particular on Ops TELIC (Iraq), HERRICK (Afghanistan) and ELLAMY (Libya). In 2013 XXIV Squadron was rebranded as the Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit after its move from RAF Lyneham to RAF Brize Norton. The Squadron assumed responsibility for the training of aircrew and engineers for both the C130J and the A400M, as well as engineer training for the C-17. XXIV Squadron s Maintenance Training School (MTS) conducts training for engineers on the Hercules, Atlas and C-17, again offering a full spectrum of courses from initial trade training to the training of highly skilled and specialised ground engineers. Furthermore, MTS was the winner of Brize Norton s Best Team award at the 2016 BRAVOS. XXIV Squadron boasts world-class facilities designed to support all aspects of its training. Some of these are provided and supported by A400M Training Services Limited and many of our innovative training methods rely on synthetic training equipment (aka simulators) administered and maintained by Thales and CAE. Despite its focus on delivering first class training, XXIV Squadron continues to have an operational involvement, contributing to and supporting operations such as Op SHADER meaning that in Brize Norton s 80th year the Squadron s motto, In Omnia Parati Prepared for All Things rings as true as ever.

35 30 SQUADRON No 30 Squadron was formed officially at Ismailia in Egypt on 31 July 1915 but this was back-dated to 24 March 1915 because a Royal Flying Corps detachment that had been operating in the region to defend the Suez Canal since November The Squadron was equipped with BE2s, 2 x French-built Maurice Farman MF7s and an MF11. In April 1916 the Squadron carried out the world s first air supply operations when food and ammunition were dropped to the besieged forces defending the town of Kut-el-Amara (Mespotamia) against the Turks. Reconnaissance and bombing then occupied the Squadron until the end of the war, when it was reduced to a cadre in April February 1920 saw the Squadron returned to full strength with the arrival of DH9s and RE8s equipped for the day bomber role. For the next 20 years No 30 Squadron remained in Iraq helping to maintain the relative peace, pioneering the concept of air policing. Aircraft were upgraded to Wapitis then Hardys before the arrival of the Blenheim in January After another change of aircraft, this time to the Beverley in 1957, the Squadron saw service in Kenya & Bahrain before being disbanded once again in No 30 Squadron was reformed yet again at Fairford in June 1968 as a C130 Herculesequipped transport squadron Valetta from where it moved to Lyneham in Initially equipped with the C130K variant, No 30 Squadron switched to the C130J in April A final move to its current home at RAF Brize Norton occurred on 1st July After being equipped with the Hercules, the Squadron has been involved in almost every RAF operation in recent years to locations such as Africa, the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and Iraq. 30 Squadron Standard Presentation 24 June 2004 BE2c No 4459 Re-designated as a fighter squadron, in late 1941 the Squadron re-equipped with the Hurricane. After moving to Burma in May 1944, these were replaced by Thunderbolts which mainly performed bomber escort duties. The final aircraft flown before disbandment in December 1946 were Tempests. Reformed in late 1947 at Oakington as part of RAF Transport Command, the Squadron took part in the Berlin Airlift operating Dakotas before being re-equipped with Valettas and moving to Abingdon for VIP Transport duties. All change for 30 Squadron in 2017 No 30 Squadron has now ceased flying the C130J and has entered a period of transition as it prepares to stand up as the 2nd frontline A400M Atlas squadron alongside LXX Squadron. Tempest 1941 the Squadron reequipped with the Hurricane. After moving to Burma in May 1944, these were replaced by Thunderbolts which mainly performed bomber escort duties. The final aircraft flown before disbandment in December 1946 were Tempests. Reformed in late 1947 at Oakington as part of RAF Transport Command, the Squadron took part in the Berlin Airlift operating Dakotas before being re-equipped with Valettas and moving to Abingdon for VIP Transport duties. HRH Princess unveiling the 30 Squadron Centenary Painting 35

36 30 Squadron on Parade 30 Squadron continued to play a full role in operations with crews permanently deployed both on Op SHADER, BME and latterly leading Ex EASTERN HAWK until the 8 Dec 16, when the majority of crews were transferred to 47 Squadron in 30 Squadron deployed on Op SHADER order to continue to operate the C130J. A few crews transferred to other fleets including the A400M OCU. The Squadron has now reduced to minimum manning during this transition period, but is destined to stand up in the near future. Whilst on deployment to southern Russia in April 1919, the Squadron was re-designated A Squadron and flew for a year under its own colours with DH9s and Sopwith Camels operating in support of the white Russian forces. As a result of this time No 47 is the only Squadron in the Royal Air Force with its own flag; this is still worn as a Shoulder Flash today. Between the wars, the Squadron was based in East Africa - notably at Khartoum - flying Bristol Fighters, Fairy II Fs, Vickers Vincents and Wellesleys. During WW 2 the Squadron flew Beauforts and Beaufighters in the Mediterranean and Mosquitos in India and Burma. Reformed in 1946 at Fairford with Halifax Transports, it began its new role as a Transport Squadron. The first Squadron to operate Hastings from 1948, it took part in the Berlin Airlift. In 1953 the Squadron moved to Abingdon, again taking the lead when re-equipping with Beverleys which it operated until SQUADRON No 47 Squadron was formed at Beverley, East Yorkshire, on 1 March 1916 as a Home Defence Squadron equipped with BE2s, BE12s and FK3s. Transferred to Northern Greece six months later to support the Allied forces against the Bulgarians, the squadron flew in both fighter and reconnaissance roles. Nili Nomen Roboris Omen - The name of the Nile shall be an omen of your power Bristol Scout used in the fighter role Having relocated to Fairford for conversion to the Hercules C130K, the Squadron moved to Lyneham in After another move to Brize Norton in Squadron now operates the C130J variant after the retirement of the K variant in The Squadron has seen action throughout the world operating the Hercules. Missions have been flown in the then Rhodesia, Falklands Islands 1982, the first Gulf War and daily sorties were flown into Sarajevo whilst it was besieged as part of SFOR. Evacuations have been conducted out of Sierra Leone (2000) and support has been given to NATO forces in Kosovo (1999). Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been the location for recent Operations; humanitarian missions were also flown to the Philippines in 2013.

37 47 SQUADRON 2017 In 2016 No 47 Squadron celebrated 100 years of service in the Royal Air Force. During this time it was disbanded and reformed three times. Throughout its history the Squadron maintained a tradition of truly global Hercules C130K on operations missions, using a wide range of aircraft in a variety of roles that have included Air to Air combat in WW1 and reconnaissance missions and bombing in North Africa in WW2. A notable highlight was the Squadron s part in sinking the German submarine U559 north of Port Said, Egypt, in October The subsequent recovery from the boat of the ENIGMA code settings was to play a decisive impact on the outcome of the war. Post WW2 the Squadron returned to the UK and took over the mantle of an Air Transport Squadron and was soon tasked in support of the Berlin airlift, during which the Squadron flew over 3,000 sorties. This was the pre-cursor to the Tactical Air Transport role that is now synonymous with 47 Squadron. In the post war years the Squadron operated a variety of types of aircraft before being assigned the C130 Hercules in This immediately became the mainstay of the Tactical Air Transport Fleet. On 1 July 2011 the Squadron moved to RAF Brize Norton and has continued to provide support to tasking as directed by the Government. It has undertaken varied missions throughout the world with sustained operations in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan theatres (to name but a few) and delivered humanitarian aid to Sarajevo, the Philippines and more recently Nepal. Maintaining the high operational tempo, a 47 Squadron C130 Hercules was the first UK aircraft to fly in support of Op SHADER in 2014, delivering lifesaving aid to Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq. RAF Brize Norton will remain the home of the C130 Hercules and 47 Squadron will continue to support worldwide operations and provide Tactical Air Transport to Army and other Defence units as required. 47 Squadron C13OJ with Brize in the background 47 Squadron crew low flying in a C130J 37

38 LXX SQUADRON Formed at South Farnborough on 22 April 1916, No LXX Squadron was the first Royal Flying Corps Squadron to fly the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. The unit transferred to Fienvillers in France one flight at a time, such was the gravity of the situation, between May and August 1916 to take up fighter patrols. As the Germans perfected their tactics, losses on the Squadron rose. A year later the Squadron converted to the more capable Sopwith Camels and then Snipes. Usquam - Anywhere Successive versions of the Wellington were used during the North African and Italian campaigns until February1945 when Consolidated B-24 Liberators replaced them; these aircraft remained with the Squadron until the end of the year. In Oct 1945 the Squadron returned to the Middle East where it was disbanded on 31 March 1946 only to be re-formed two weeks later with Lancasters. The Squadron flew these aircraft for less than one year before it was disbanded once more on 1 April After the Armistice, the unit remained in Germany until February 1919 when it returned to the UK, disbanding briefly during January 1920 only to reform nine days later at Heliopolis, Egypt by renumbering as No 58 Squadron equipped with Handley Page 0/400s and Vickers Vimys operating in the bomber-transport role. Within three years No LXX Squadron had moved to Iraq and had been re-equipped with Vickers Vernon bombers/transports which were flown on the Cairo- Baghdad air mail run until During this time, the Squadron also took part in operations against rebel tribesmen and insurgents on the Turkish frontier and received Vickers Victorias shortly before the famous evacuation of Kabul in Vickers Valentias arrived in 1935; these lumbering aircraft spent the first year of World War II on transport duties flying around the Middle East until Vickers Wellington bombers replaced them in late Vickers Wellington In May 1948 No 215 Squadron based at Kabrit, Egypt, was renumbered as No LXX Squadron; the unit resumed transport duties with Douglas C-47 Dakotas. Vickers Valletas arrived in January 1950 and a move to Nicosia in Cyprus in December 1955 saw the introduction of the Handley Page Hastings and later the Pembroke. Participation in the Suez Campaign in 1956 included the dropping of paratroops as part of the famous assault on El Gamil airfield. July 1966 brought yet another move, this time to Akrotiri in Cyprus with conversion to Argosy C1s in 1967 and then, in November 1970, to the C-130K Hercules. On 1 February 1975 the Squadron returned to the UK, joining the Lyneham Transport Wing after 55 years overseas. Handley Page 0/ Vickers Valetta

39 In September 2010 No LXX Squadron stood-down once more to await the arrival of the Royal Air Force s new Airbus A400M Atlas aircraft; the Squadron Standard was lodged at Royal Air Force College Cranwell; this marked the end of the Squadron s outstanding period of C130K Hercules operations around the world. In 2014 LXX Squadron commenced its role as the first operational A400M Atlas Squadron. Following the first aircraft delivery in November 2014, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, reviewed the Re-formation Parade of LXX Squadron at RAF Brize Norton on 23 July C130K Hercules LXX Squadron 2017 The past year has been one of tremendous significance for LXX Squadron, beginning with the Squadron s centenary celebrations. A Centenary dinner in the Officers Mess was followed by a service in St Bartholomew s Church, Royal Wootton Bassett, where the old 70 Squadron Standard had been laid up following the award of a new Squadron Standard by HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, during the Squadron reformation parade on 23 July Events to mark the centenary continued throughout the year. Members of the Squadron, the Project Team and Airbus engineers visited a number of operational locations that have featured in 70 Squadron history and a 70 Squadron A400M aircraft, ZM406, has also been seen around the world with a commemorative tail art design. This time of reflection proved equally important in looking forward. The Squadron continues to grow and has more than doubled in size this year, most notably by the arrival of the first ab initio pilots who will spend their first front line tour with the Squadron. Moreover, the number of crews that are now trained to support operations is expanding rapidly in preparation for the first deployed commitments in late summer In support, the pool of aircraft has risen from 7 to 15 and the team of Service and Airbus Defence and Space engineers has grown both in size and experience, such that we are able to extract more and more from the aircraft day by day. Together, these aspects have significantly enhanced the Squadron s operational capabilities. We have worked with our sister squadrons and 16 Air Assault Brigade to land our first sorties into tactical landing zones at Keevil and Woodbridge. We have further proven our ability to operate for extended periods away from home base during tasking in New Zealand and Australia and we conduct regular tasking to Cyprus in support of operations in the Middle East. We have successfully launched our first task as Search and Rescue onscene commander and we have flown in a mass formation at HM The Queen s Birthday Flypast, and with the Red Arrows at Farnborough. As we mark the Station s 80th Anniversary, LXX Squadron are extremely proud to be part of RAF Brize Norton and are keen to be at the forefront of its future. 39

40 99 SQUADRON No 99 Squadron was formed on 15 August 1917 at Yatesbury, Wiltshire with DH6s and BE2s. In April 1918 the Squadron was equipped with DH9 aircraft and was deployed to France. The Squadron took part in 76 strategic bombing missions directed at German industrial targets during the remainder of WWI. In May 1919 the Squadron was deployed to India for aerial policing duties over the Northwest Frontier before the unit was absorbed into 27 Squadron in April Quisque Tenax Each Tenacious In 1924 No 99 Squadron reformed as a heavy bomber unit at Netheravon in Wiltshire. It was equipped with the Vickers Vimy and then the Avro Aldershot bomber. These aircraft were replaced in succession by Avro s Hyderabad, Hinaidi and, in 1933, the Avro Heyford; this was the RAF s last bi-plane bomber. During 1938 the Squadron converted to the iconic Barnes Wallace designed Vickers Wellington bomber. 99 Squadron reformed at RAF Lyneham in 1949 as a transport squadron equipped with Avro Yorks and later the Handley Page Hastings with which it took part in the Berlin Airlift. During the Suez Crisis in 1956 the Squadron operated out of Cyprus and dropped paratroopers on Port Said. In Squadron Bristol Britannia being loaded commenced worldwide transport operations with the Bristol Britannia until June 1970 when the Squadron moved to RAF Brize Norton where it remained until it was disbanded on 6 January In July 1998 the Government s Strategic Defence Review detailed a requirement for an aircraft capable of carrying outsized loads such as helicopters and large military vehicles. In 16 May 2000 it was announced that four Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft would be leased for up to 9 years and in November 2000 the decision that a reformed 99 Squadron would operate these aircraft at RAF Brize Norton was made public. The success of the C-17 in maintaining the crucial Afghanistan airbridge was immediate and the leased machines were subsequently purchased, along with a further 4, to make the present fleet of 8. As the platform of choice for British defence, 99 Squadron has delivered every task it has been set including disaster relief, air hospital, emergency evacuation and exclusively the honourable repatriation of fallen military personnel. No 99 Squadron s primary role of Strategic Air Transport (Strat AT) with a secondary and developing role of Tactical Air Transport (Tac AT) continues to support UK defence policy worldwide now and for the future. A DH9 used in the fighter and bomber role In Squadron entered WWII with the first of many leafletdropping missions over Germany. The first bombing raids were launched on 17 April 1940 during the German invasion of Norway. European bombing operations continued 99 Squadron operating Wellingtons in India until January 1942 when, after substantial losses, the Squadron was deployed to India. From its base at Digri 99 Squadron commenced night bombing raids against Japanese targets in Burma. In September 1944 the Squadron received the Consolidated Liberator VI long-range bomber. In July 1945 the Squadron deployed from Dhubalia to the Cocos Islands where, on 15 November 1945 following the Japanese surrender, the Squadron was disbanded Squadron B24 Consolidated Liberator in the Far East

41 99 Squadron in 2017 Now in their 100th year, 99 Squadron continues to support worldwide Operations and Exercises with the C17 aircraft. It specialises in moving equipment and people, particularly outsize or contentious loads such as the Chinook helicopter or armaments. The flexibility of the aircraft allows it to rapidly deploy, making the C17 a go-to choice for demonstrating political intent. This has included HADR (Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief ) operations; in addition, 99 Squadron has been involved in planning a number of NEO operations (recovery of UK nationals from high-risk areas) from locations such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The C17 continues to be the platform of choice for aeromedical evacuation flights and in Squadron flew 7 dedicated aeromedical evacuation missions and delivered 15 patients, including recovering seriously injured personnel at short notice from Bagram, Afghanistan. This year has seen the Squadron continue to fly in support of many Operations and the ubiquitous nature of the aircraft sees it deployed across the globe. For example, in just one month Squadron crews flew in support of 6 different Operations and 8 different overseas Exercises which took them into 27 different countries. Squadron personnel have also raised a significant sum for charity; a significant recent event was 99 Miles for 99 Years of 99 Squadron. A number of individuals ran 99 miles over a 5 day period and this was followed by a charity auction that raised over 10,000 for the Royal Air Force Association and Cancer Research UK. C17 engine change down route (Juba) South Sudan The Squadron s reputation is second to none; this is partly attributable to the capability of the aircraft we operate but it is also due to the attitude and dedication of the Squadron personnel that make each task a success, no matter what the obstacles. Operations continue to be a dynamic environment and Squadron planning often has to be reactive in nature, particularly with regard to short-notice tasking. The manner in which all sections pull together to ensure the mission is achieved is perhaps the best example of how and why 99 Squadron continues to be held in such high regard. The future of the C17 sees it remaining as the strategic airlift workhorse for the UK Armed Forces whilst developing a number of tactical capabilities that come under the heading of GCTS (Global Counter-Terror Strike). The C17 will shortly be able to undertake Semi- Prepared Runway Operations (SPRO) landing on tactical strips whilst using NVG (Night Vision Goggles) and is developing the capability to airdrop personnel. A major milestone in this development saw the first freefall parachutists jumping from a C17 in April 2016 and a trial of the first UK C17 to conduct SPRO take-offs and landings in May No 1 Air Mobility Wing (1AMW) The introduction of the Beverley aircraft into Royal Air Force service in 1956 produced a requirement for a Mobile Force of highly skilled Air Movements specialists capable of establishing or reinforcing Air Movements sections worldwide. Between July and October 1958 four teams, each of six men, were formed at Royal Air Force Abingdon and placed under the control of the Air Movements Development Unit which later became the Air Transport Development Unit. The success of the four Abingdon teams prompted further expansion when it became apparent that Blackburn Beverley these four teams did not have the capacity to support Transport Command worldwide. By 1964 there were 19 Mobile Movements teams; seven attached to Transport Command and the other 11 attached to the Near East, Middle East and the Far East Air Forces. 41

42 With the closure of many overseas bases and the reduction in worldwide commitments, the overseas teams were redeployed to RAF Abingdon. Squadron status was granted in May 1966 and the title of United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron (UKMAMS) was approved. 1 Air Mobility Wing (1 AMW) was formed in 2006 as the requirement for deployed Air Movements expertise increased with campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, greater UK Defence emphasis on expeditionary operations and the entry into RAF service of the C-17. UKMAMS continued to provide worldwide support to the Air Transport Force handling Beverley, Argosy, Hastings, Valetta, Britannia and Comet aircraft which were gradually replaced by the Andover, Belfast, VC10, Hercules and Tristar. Operating at a forward airstrip during OP GRANBY Loading a Britannia With the closure of RAF Lyneham in 2012, 1 AMW moved to Royal Air Force Brize Norton as its focus reverted entirely to provision of deployed Air Movements capability. 1 AMW has continued to live up to the proud motto Swift to Move by providing essential Air Movements support to worldwide operations and exercises. These have included major disaster relief efforts in Nepal and the Philippines, military operations in Libya and West Africa and the return of personnel and materiel from both Iraq and Afghanistan. This last task was the largest logistics effort in a generation and brought to an end 13 years of continuous involvement by both UKMAMS and 1 AMW in that country. First in, last out once again. In February 1974 UKMAMS moved to Royal Air Force Lyneham where they were amalgamated with the Air Movements Squadron which had been supporting the Station since Throughout its history UKMAMS played a vital part in all operations, conflicts, relief operations and exercises that required Air Transport, including the Zambia Oil Lift in 1965/6 and evacuation of British families from Cyprus in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of the Island. UKMAMS distinguished itself during the deployment of election monitoring forces to Rhodesia in 1979/80 and won plaudits for its key role in the 13-month famine relief effort in Ethiopia during 1984/5 (OP BUSHELL). C130K delivering food to Makele Airfield during OP BUSHELL However, these achievements were surpassed in scale by OP GRANBY in 1990/91 when, following Iraq s invasion of Kuwait, up to 111 UKMAMS personnel were deployed to the Middle East at the peak of the operation. AMW handling a C17 1 AMW 2017 This has been a busy year with 1AMW completing Operational and Exercise tasking around the globe. The Wing routinely have 41 personnel deployed on Enduring Ops commitments to Op SHADER, Op TORAL and Op KIPION as well as taking on roles in the Falklands. In addition, Contingent Ops flights have averaged 77 tasks per month in support of numerous smaller scale operations (such as Op TRENTON in Sudan and NATO operations such as OP AZOTIZE), the Defence Exercise Programme (DXP) and Air-Air Refuelling tasks, all whilst maintaining an immediate readiness R0 standby commitment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In August AMW participated in the trials of the Voyager aircraft that had been upgraded with the Enhanced Cabin Fit for use by the 42

43 prime Minister, senior HMG officials and members of the Royal Family. 1AMW teams have subsequently flown on each VIP task including Prime Ministerial visits to the G20 summit in Hangzhou in China, to Washington to meet the newly elected President of the United States and a nine-day tour of Romania, Italy and Austria with the Prince of Wales. EX NORTHERN SUN was the first full deployment of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) by air for several years. A total of 26 personnel successfully moved 400 tonnes of equipment, including the Sub Rescue Vessel, from Prestwick to Evennes in Norway using a combination of C17, AN-124, A400M and C130 aircraft. In March 2017 two teams from 1AMW provided movements support for EX JOINT WARRIOR. C17 aircraft flying 2 sorties per day moved a wide range of wheeled loads including Foxhound patrol vehicles, an AH64 Apache helicopter, Pinzgauer all-terrain vehicles, 105mm light guns and a Role 2 Field Hospital. The Exercise also saw the first use of the A400M to move wheeled loads under exercise conditions; these included quad bikes, Land Rovers and trailers. The equipment deployed from RAF Brize Norton to Keevil airfield where it was offloaded under Engine Running Offload (ERO) conditions. The loads were later moved forward from Keevil to Woodbridge, again carrying out EROs. Under Project HADRON AMS merged with 1 AMW under 38Gp in August Air Despatch Squadron (Royal Logistics Corps) During World War 2 the development of aerial resupply for the fledgling British airborne force led to the creation of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and Royal Indian Army Service Corps Air Despatch Units. Their role was to manage the rigging, installing and despatching of loads from aircraft. In the UK, each of the British Airborne Divisions had its own air despatch company but as demand for airborne load delivery grew, especially to groups behind the lines in occupied Europe, the decision was made to form an Air Despatch Group. At its peak in World War 2, the Air Despatch Group numbered 5,000 personnel who supported operations that included D Day, Falaise Gap and the relief of Paris. Since the end of World War II, Air Despatchers have been tasked to support British Airborne Forces in campaigns such as Suez in 1956; they also had numerous Cold War roles. More recently, Air Despatchers from 47 AD Squadron played small but key roles in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the recent campaign in Afghanistan. The Squadron is beginning to operate on the A400M but the majority of its loads are currently despatched from thec130j Hercules. Outside of military operations, 47 AD Squadron personnel have been involved in several humanitarian operations, including Nepal and the better-remembered famine in Ethiopia in 1984, where the contribution of air despatchers in the mountainous regions of the country saved many thousands of lives. More recently the Squadron has conducted humanitarian aid drops in Iraq in support of refugees that could not be reached by road. After having been based for many years at RAF Lyneham, when the C130 Force relocated to Brize Norton in 2011, 47 AD followed, moving into a new, purpose-built building. This provided enough space for the unit to bring across their DC3 Dakota which now proudly sits at the entrance to their compound. Today 47 AD Squadron is a sub-unit of 13 Air Assault Support Royal Logistics Corps which is part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. These units form an important element of the airborne deployed capability and they maintain a number of personnel at high readiness in order to support the UK Special Forces However, it was Operation Market Garden where the Group came of age; 900 Air Despatchers flew 600 sorties and of the 264 personnel who were shot down, 116 were killed. For their role in Market Garden Air Despatchers were awarded the right to wear the Golden Dakota which is still worn today. For the remaining months of the war, air despatchers were used in support of US forces during the Battle of the Bulge and they were involved in the Rhine Crossing. 47 AD Squadron Air Despatch Squadron is now well established at Brize Norton having moved across from Lyneham in It continues to work closely with 47 Squadron RAF, exercising across the globe and providing resilience to a number of national contingency plans. The speed at which both units can react was most recently demonstrated when personnel from both Squadron s deployed on a search and rescue task within hours of the request being made. They worked alongside the civilian and Royal Navy personnel assisting in the rescue of 14 yachtsmen. 43

44 47 AD Squadron continues to operate primarily from the C130J but can now provide a limited AD capability from the A400M. Members of the Squadron have recently deployed for the first time on an AD exercise on the A400M. The A400M AD capability will continue to increase over the next 3 years. The Squadron also exercises regularly in the Air Despatch, Driver and infantry roles with its parent unit - 13 Air Assault Support Regiment. The Regiment sits in 16 Air Assault Brigade who have recently readopted the Pegasus as their Brigade flash. No 4 RAF Force Protection Wing Headquarters HQ 4 Wing was originally formed as No 1304 Wing on 1 April The Wing sailed with the OPERATION OVERLORD assault force on D Day, landing on Juno beach in the early hours of D + 1. Wing personnel took part in the Allied advance through Belgium and Holland into Germany, their prime task being to secure and defend airfields and to hold sectors of the front line as part of the 1st Canadian/2nd British Armies. Units of 4 Wing moved into Schleswig Holstein to occupy airfields close to the Danish Border and contributed to the total Regiment bag of 15 airfields and 50,000 surrendered German troops. On 5 May 1945 a detachment from the Wing moved into Copenhagen with the advance guard of the liberation force and occupied the airfield there. As the post-war situation stabilised, the Wing deployed to Utersen to the north west of Hamburg with its five Light Anti-Aircraft squadrons and 1 rifle squadron. Its tasks were airfield defence, Vital Point guarding, patrols and escort duties. In March 1946 an armoured car squadron came under command of the Wing which moved to Lubeck. Subsequently, it moved to Celle and was tasked with the ground defence of Fassberg, Wunstorf and Celle. No 1304 Wing was re-numbered 4 Wing on 21 August 1947 with 2 armoured car squadrons and 2 rifle squadrons under command. The Wing moved to Luneberg in 1949, Jever in 1952, Laarbruch in 1955 and Oldenburg in 1956 where it disbanded in September HQ 4 Wing was re-formed at RAF Catterick in December 1973 and deployed to RAF Bruggen in January 1974 to command Nos 16, 58, 63 and 66 Squadrons which were equipped with Rapier surface to air missiles. The Wing moved to RAF Wildenrath in June Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on 3 April 1982 and in early May No 63 Squadron was ordered to prepare to move to the United Kingdom in readiness to become part of the South Atlantic Task Force being prepared to deploy on Op CORPORATE. No 63 Squadron was reinforced by members of 4 Wing under the Wing Second in Command. The Squadron deployed to San Carlos on East Falkland by helicopter on 3 June. command and control unit that maintained Very High Readiness as a Force Protection element within 2 Group. Highly mobile, the HQ could deploy worldwide by sea, land or air and was self-contained and type-designed to provide command and control of all Force Protection elements dedicated to the defence and security of RAF airheads on deployed operations. From rapid reconnaissance and deployment planning to the organisation and control of Force Protection in hostile environments, the HQ was a flexible and agile organisation that could deliver specialist advice and co-ordination to any deployed air commander. With an establishment of 11 and commanded by a Wing Commander, the RAF Regiment staff included specialists in active and passive defence, NBC operations, battlefield communications and Force Protection training. Based at RAF Lyneham, home of the Hercules force, the HQ role was aligned to the Air Transport/Air-to-Air refuelling Force and was thus also closely linked to RAF Brize Norton. 4 FP Wing at Basrah during OP TELIC Shortly after its formation, the HQ deployed to Ali Al Salem airbase in Kuwait in July 2002 and assumed responsibility for the Force Protection of deployed RAF assets. The HQ s tour of duty was extended as Ali Al Salem was prepared for future conflict and active and passive defences, as well as recuperations measures, were developed to bring the deployed operating base to the highest state of operational readiness for OP TELIC. The HQ was also involved in operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan On 1 April 2004 the HQ underwent a significant organisational change and was re-titled No 4 RAF Force Protection Wing Headquarters, to reflect its additional responsibilities as the HQ of 3 Force Protection squadrons. No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment and 2625 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, both based at RAF St Mawgan, and 501 Operations Support Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force based at RAF Brize Norton were re-brigaded to become a fighting wing under the control of the re-titled HQ. In June 2004 the HQ deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC, taking command of the Force Protection Wing at Basrah Air Station. This Wing comprised units drawn from the RAF Regiment, RAF Police, Army infantry, locating artillery and engineers as well as Iraq security forces. Over a 4 month period the HQ controlled the Wing s integrated Force Protection activities, including response to 11 confirmed rocket attacks; no casualties or damage due to hostile action were sustained at Basrah Air Station during this period. HQ 4 Wing s role continued with the training and development of Rapier tactics for the 4 Rapier squadrons in Germany until it was disbanded in This force reduction was brought about as part of Options for Change following the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact; this document also resulted in the closure of RAF Gutersloh and RAF Wildenrath and the disbandment of Nos 16 and 63 Squadrons RAF Regiment. No 4 Wing was re-formed and re-named as No 4 RAF Tactical Surviveto-Operate HQ on 1 May 2002 at RAF Honington. The was a small 44

45 Between 2005 and 2015 the Wing deployed on several operations in the Middle East including OP HERRICK, Op ELLAMY, Op LUMINOUS and Op SHADER. During Op HERRICK in Afghanistan, the Wing commanded the Force Protection elements at both Kandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion on numerous occasions between 2005 and On Op LUMINOUS in 2011 the Wing set up a Force Protection Headquarters at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in preparation for a potential deployment to Syria. For both Op ELLAMY in Libya and Op SHADER in Iraq, the Wing facilitated and deployed Air Mobility Protection Teams to provide Force Protection for RAF aircraft and personnel in hostile environments from More recently the Wing deployed to Pakistan on two occasions as part of an enduring cross-government programme of engagement with Pakistan on civilian airport and military airfield FP and security. The UK s military airfield defence engagement line of operation is entitled Op INVOKER and is included in the British High Commission Islamabad s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund planning. Op INVOKER has seen the delivery of UK airfield Force Protection training through a Training Needs Analysis visit in December 2015 and two subsequent Air FP C2 Short Term Training Team (STTT) visits in June and December Op INVOKER STTTs consisted of a two-week C2, estimate and planning course to selected Pakistani Air Force (PAF) personnel focussed upon enhancing airfield Force Protection. The STTT delivered the course at PAF Nur Khan in Rawalpindi. In addition, the STTT also delivered further training related to Air FP Military Working Dog and Security Assurance Testing. The task facing No 4 RAF Force Protection Wing in 2017/18 is to understand and develop specialist Air Force Protection activity requirement for 38 EAW and the Air Mobility Force. With the planned move of II Squadron RAF Regiment from RAF Honington to RAF Brize Norton in 2017, the Wing will take responsibility for the Force Generation of manpower to fill Force Protection duties at 903 EAW and OP SHADER Force Protection Ops, and will forward mount Air Mobility Protection Teams at 903 EAW in support of OP SHADER. Headquarters Tactical Medical Wing Headquarters Tactical Medical Wing (HQ TMW) was established on 1 April 1996 and has become the primary Royal Air Force Medical Services (RAFMS) focus for Operations, Exercises, Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) and Medical Operational training.. TMW s role is to train, equip and deploy RAFMS personnel as Force Elements in support of operations and exercises and to provide quality worldwide medical services for Defence. The Wing relocated to RAF Brize Norton in October 2012 and moved to the bespoke HQ TMW building in February 2013 Looking to the future, the Defence vision for Joint Force 2025 is one of increased ambition: a more capable force, able to fight and win against technologically advanced peer and near peer adversaries within a high threat, increasingly complex, ambiguous and hybrid operating environment. At the same time there is an increasing demand to be ready to respond to homeland defensive requirements. For the FP Force, the challenges highlighted reemphasise the requirement for a specialist, agile and scalable force, able to counter threats to UK Air operations worldwide. Specialisation requires detailed understanding of the spectrum of capabilities that a hybrid, technologically and tactically advanced adversary will level against us. The Squadrons Aeromedical Evacuation Control Centre Squadron (AECC) supports UK defence by providing the safest, most expedient and efficient patient movement system in the world. In 2016 the AECC organised the movement of 1,602 patients. Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron provides in-flight medical care, utilising multi-disciplinary teams, to affect the expedient and safe transfer of patients by air from any location worldwide. This is all undertaken within a comprehensive training and governance framework whilst providing training and maintaining logistic and governance processes. The level of medical care provided ranges from routine medical escort duties to repatriating the critically ill, supported by the RAF Critical Care Air Support Team (CCAST) and the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Team. They routinely operate in the Falkland Island, Canada, the Middle East and Africa. Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Team ensures the efficient management of infection control principles within TMW formations and deployed operations so that acceptable levels of infection control are maintained in peace and war. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the Air Transportable Isolator (ATI), a joint project between the MoD and the Department of Health, which provides the capability to aeromedically evacuate highly infectious patients. 45

46 Critical Care Air Support Team (CCAST) consists of Intensive Care (ITU) qualified nurses, medics and Medical and Dental Servicing Section (MDSS) personnel who provide a capability to evacuate critically ill patients by effectively replicating an intensive care facility in the air. They can operate strategically or tactically and even at the forward level within the area of operations. Training Squadron provide pre-employment and pre-deployment training for RAFMS personnel, including MERT, CCAST and for the ATI. AE training provides the RAF with qualified medical personnel who can be called upon to recover sick or injured personnel from around the world. Medical Readiness Training (MRT) is used to develop the skills and knowledge required for personnel to fulfil their operational role. Training includes deployment theory, navigation, field living, kit preparation and usage as well as operational procedures. Capability and Sustainment Squadron equip and assist trained RAFMS force elements through the force generation of personnel, logistical support, exercise planning and the provision of Medical and Dental Equipment Maintenance and IPC to the Medical Deployed formations and to the RAFMS in general. RAF Medical and Dental Servicing Section (MDSS) provide technicians to support TMW squadrons and the RAFMS who are trained to repair specialist medical equipment. Their technicians also deploy on AE/ CCAST missions and operations worldwide. Operations undertaken by TMW include: Operations Squadron provides the full spectrum of short notice medical support as directed by Air Command Medical Operations; these include Primary Health Care Role 1, Deployable Aeromedical Response Teams Squadron (DARTS), Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) and Tactical and Strategic Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Deployable Aeromedical Response Teams Squadron (DARTS) have specially trained emergency nurses and paramedics who provide a RS2 (5 days notice to move) capability to augment MERT / Forward AE in the operational and exercising environments. Tasking Cell is responsible for the force generation and preparation of RAFMS personnel in support of global operations and exercises and provide a single communication hub for all internal departmental tasking and external agency contact. Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) is made up of emergency nurses, doctors and paramedics who are trained to provide emergency care to wounded casualties within a rotary aviation environment. These medical personnel are supported by RAF Regiment gunners who, alongside offensive aircraft, provide force protection. Op TELIC ( ) - Iraq Op HERRICK ( ) Afghanistan Op GRITROCK ( ) - the British, Irish and Canadian participation in the fight against the Ebola virus epidemic in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Op AZOTIZE ( Present Day) NATO Baltic Air Policing Ops BATUK ( Present Day) - British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK). Op KIPION ( Present Day) - the UK military forces contribution to the security of the Middle East. Op TORAL ( Present Day) -the British presence within Afghanistan in 2014 as part of NATO s Resolute Support Mission. Op SHADER ( Present Day) - the British participation in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Humanitarian Support - Support to the aeromedical evacuation of civilians injured during the terrorist attack in Tunisia and the repatriation of the deceased to their families and loved ones. TMW deployed a team of AE qualified personnel including CCAST to support the evacuation. Tactical Medical Wing 2017 As Defence has turned its focus towards Contingency Operations, TMW continue to adapt to the new requirements in order to provide the required level of support. However, HQ TMW s mission statement remains the same - HQ TMW is to train, equip and deploy RAFMS personnel as Force Elements in support of operations and exercises in order to provide quality worldwide Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Services for Defence. ATMW are currently supporting Exercises across the world, working with coalition partners to investigate how they can share best practice and work alongside each other more efficiently. In addition to providing a superb global AE Service 24hrs a day, TMW are working with various external agencies across Defence to introduce new medical capabilities. Two significant achievements this year have seen the first successful mission of a Critical Care Air Support Team (CCAST) capability on the Voyager aircraft and the successful Conceptual Exercise of the new RAF Hospital Staging Unit (HSU). In January 2017 the Critical Care Air Support Team (CCAST) made its first Operational flight on the Voyager aircraft. CCAST, part of Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron within Tactical Medical Wing, provides the capability to move critically ill patients through the AE chain. Required to provide AE support for a patient in Chile, CCAST was stood up and, following discussion with RAF Current Ops and the Voyager Force, loaded their equipment into a MAAR variant Voyager. Delivery Duty Holder (RAF Brize Norton Station Commander)

47 clearance was sought and given prior to the team emplaning because the CCAST capability on Voyager would only formally be declared in May 17. Despite this being the first time that CCAST used a Voyager, the mission proved successful in all respects, safely delivering the patient to the UK as well as proving the capability for future use. In April 2017 TMW were involved in assisting the introduction of the RAF HSU. TMW led a Conceptual Exercise at South Cerney called Ex ATHENA DRAGON 2. The RAF HSU is a new concept that, if introduced to Defence, will bring together a variety of medical disciplines that will be able to receive, treat and hold casualties with a full range of clinical dependencies, including those requiring surgery and Intensive Care. Positioned at the Air Port of Disembarkation for an operational theatre, HSU patients will be prepared and optimised for Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) back to the UK as part of the Operational Patient Care Pathway. The primary role of the RAF Air Movements School in 1972 was to provide Phase 2 trade training and Phase 3 specialist training for RAF personnel employed in the loading and unloading of transport aircraft, air freight processing and passenger handling. A number of special short courses taught non-movers the basics of air mobility. Students learned about basic restraint processes for the wide range of transport aircraft operated by the RAF, as well as being trained to work with the mechanical handling aids used to make loading more efficient. C130K Mock Up in Hangar 30 The start of 2017 has been extremely busy and has seen HQ TMW already achieve two considerable milestones of success whilst continuing with normal business. If the first 4 months are any indication, 2017 will be a very successful year for HQ TMW personnel. Defence Movements School Air Movements Training traces its roots back to World War 2 with the establishment of the RAF Transport Command Movement Traffic Control School at RAF St Mawgan on 1 March This was a 5 week course which was attended by 600 Supply Branch Officers and 1,200 Supply SNCOs. The classroom course at St Mawgan was backed up with a practical phase at the BOAC Traffic Trg Sch. Up until 1984 there was limited use of computers, however, the introduction of British Airways Movements Management and Reservation System (MMARS) saw the school having to re-design all aspects of its training to integrate the new processes, whilst ensuring basic humping and dumping training continued. Hangar 30 became the practical training hangar in 1972 and it was equipped with 2 x C130K mock-ups, a Belfast mock-up and Andover Mock up. These allowed movers to learn loading techniques without the risk of damage to live aircraft. Later, a VC5 (cut down VC10 fuselage) was added to the collection. Starting in the late 1990s, the C130K mock-ups have been replaced by C130J mock-ups, the VC5, Belfast and Andover have gone and a new A400 Mock-up has been constructed. The School moved to RAF Bramcote in 1945 and then to RAF Kidbrooke in 1954, where it was awarded the Royally Authorised School Badge. It moved twice more:, to Kirton on Lindsey in 1963 and then Abingdon in 1996, before finally moving into its current home at Brize in 1972, the last move coinciding with the creation of a separate specialist Air Movements trade. VC5 Mock up (cut down VC10 fuselage) In 2004, as part of a defence training review, the Air Movements School came under the umbrella of the Defence College of Logistics and Personnel Administration (DCLPA) and the Army Movements Trg Section moved across from Deepcut Barracks to become the Army Trg Flight. Outsize load training with a C130K On 2 October 1974 the original unit crest, signed by her Majesty the Queen in 1956, was presented for retention. A400M fuselage Mock-up Practical Training Area in Hangar 30 47

48 Defence Movements School 2017 The Defence Movements Training School (DMTS) is currently responsible for delivering 38 distinct movements-related courses. These encompass basic movements Phase 2 professional training for both RAF and RLC students - up to and including A400M Supervisor courses - and Government Authorised Explosive Representative courses for Phase 3 level students. DMTS remains a centre of excellence for Logistics training and today delivers specialist movements instruction covering all current multi-modal platforms to over 1,700 students per annum. RESERVE SQUADRONS No 2624 (County Of Oxford) RAF Regiment Squadron First intake of recruits in April 1983 No 2624 Squadron traces its roots to 1575 Flight of the Special Operations Executive based at RAF Tempsford in The Flight was later re-named 624 Squadron and operated initially out of Algiers and later served in Italy, France and Yugoslavia before being disbanded at the end of the Second World War. In 1957 almost all the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadrons were disbanded with the exception of 3 Maritime Headquarters units; this was to remain the case until The Squadron s role at RAF Brize Norton was put into brief hiatus in 1988 when the Squadron was tasked to be a reenforcement unit for RAF Germany. This continued until 1992 when the Squadron was re-roled back to RAF Brize Norton. The next major change came in April 1998 A Flt in Germany 1992 when, as part of the Strategic Defence Review, 2624 Squadron ceased being a RAuxAF Regiment Field Squadron and was instead re-roled to be a Role Support Squadron and re-titled Air Transport & Air to Air Refuelling Support Squadron (ATAARS). This unit had a flight of C130 Reservist Aircrew at RAF Lyneham and 2 flights of Gunners at RAF Brize Norton. Gunners at Sennybridge in 2013 In April 2002 the Squadron assumed a new role as an Operational Support Squadron and a new title of No 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron and comprised a mix of Gunners, Suppliers, MT Drivers and Flight Operations Assistants and later FP Specialists. In April 2013 the Squadron reverted back to its original role of a RAuxAF Regiment Field Squadron and its original title of No 2624 (County of Oxford) Squadron RAuxAF Regiment 2624 Squadron In Squadron was formed at RAF Brize Norton in 1982 so has a relatively long association with the Station. Although classed as a lodger unit, the Squadron has always felt welcomed and has fully integrated itself into all activities on camp and has a strong relationship with the other reserve squadrons on the base. Of particular note has been the Squadron s recent work with 4626 Squadron in developing Force Protection skills within the Medical Emergency Response Team and the enhancing of the unit s air awareness knowledge by working closely with 622 Squadron and 47 Squadron. In 1983 No 624 Squadron was resurrected as two new squadrons: an Air Movements Squadron (No 4624 Squadron) and a RAuxAF Regiment Field Squadron (No 2624 Squadron). Because all RAuxAF Regiment Field Squadrons have a 4 digit number plate starting with the number 2, 624 Squadron became 2624 Squadron. Both 4624 and 2624 Squadrons share the title of County of Oxford Squadron. No 2624 (County of Oxford) Squadron was formed at a time when the Cold War between NATO and the Warsaw pact was still much in evidence and initially the Squadron s role was to provide ground defence to Female Gunners 1983 RAF Brize Norton, ostensibly against Soviet Special Forces. The Squadron began training in April 1983 when the first 3 flights were formed; these were followed by another 2 flights in November In this, the Station s 80th anniversary year, the Squadron remains fully committed to delivering a Force Protection effect both at home and on deployed operations. Forming part of No 4 Force Protection Wing, alongside No II Squadron RAF Regiment and No 7 RAF Police Squadron, it stands ready to deploy FP Specialists to support No 4 FP Wing s mission. Over the past few years the Squadron has deployed personnel to Op TELIC, Op HERRICK, Op BOLTHOLE and continues to support Op KIPION. The key to the success of the Squadron is its people who are mostly Part Time Volunteer Reserve personnel who live within a 50-mile radius of the Station. One of the main attractions of joining 2624 Squadron is its location at RAF Brize Norton and the feeling of being an integral part of the RAF.

49 No 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Squadron No 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Squadron is a well-established, experienced and operationally focussed unit with the primary role of providing fully-trained and qualified reservist Logistics (Movements) (Logs (Mov)) personnel to support RAF Operations worldwide. Our PTVR personnel are trained to be interchangeable with their Regular counterparts at the point of use and are fully integrated within the RAF s Logs (Mov) Trade. In addition, and as with most other Ready to Move RAuxAF Squadrons, we are also an Armed Forces Careers Office and a Phase 1 (Recruits) and Phase 2 (Basic) training establishment. No 4624 Squadron was formed at RAF Brize Norton on 8 August 1982 and achieved Full Operating Capability in The largest squadron in the RAuxAF, our Logs (Mov) reservist personnel have participated in every major Defence commitment since 1991 and we 4624 Movers working at Brize have been mobilising personnel for operations continuously since To date, Squadron personnel have undertaken around 1,200 mobilisations. During 2016, 16 of our PTVRs were mobilised to RAF Akrotiri in support of OP SHADER and another 2 experienced life at RAF Lossiemouth; a somewhat cooler, but no less busy deployment 4624 Movers working at Brize back-filling posts made vacant by the deployment of Regular personnel. During the Station s 80th anniversary year, we will continue our commitment to OP SHADER, mobilising a SNCO to back-fill a post within JADTEU, and one of our flight commanders will spend 6 months working as a Duty Air Movements Officer (DAMO) with the Air Mov Squadron (AMS) at Brize Norton, again in an operational back-fill role. However, whilst augmentation of the Regular Force through the mobilisation of Logs (Mov) reservists is our raison d être, 4624 Squadron is able to contribute much more. It is widely acknowledged that our significant contribution to the Whole Force epitomises what can be delivered by reservist personnel when the need or opportunity arises and with the support and buy-in of, in our case, the Regular Logs (Mov) organization and the A4 Force Squadron 2001 AFI Flypast (4624 Squadron HQ To this end, the Squadron is very active supporting the Regular Force at RAF Brize Norton on an almost weekly basis. On training weekends, up to 16 reservists can be found supporting AMS, working alongside their regular colleagues preparing cargo, loading aircraft and driving specialist vehicles. Our junior officers also support AMS by providing DAMO support during periods of high activity along with supplementary cover on a regular basis. This real and valued support is of mutual benefit as it provides AMS with an additional source of trained manpower and 4624 Squadron with a highly effective way of delivering relevant, challenging and enjoyable training. The unit of currency used when determining the amount of routine support provided by PTVRs is not the number of people employed but rather the number of Routine Support Days (RSDs) (previously known as Man training Days) used to deliver this support. We also provide routine support to 1 Air Mobility Wing (1AMW). Each month, 10 to 15 of our personnel deploy as part of small teams responsible for the handing of aircraft loads around the globe in support of the Defence Exercise Programme. PTVR personnel contribute to around 20 tasks a month, providing valuable assistance and, most importantly, at the same time gaining considerable experience. The PTVRs who undertake these tasks do so on a purely voluntary basis they are not mobilised. The tasks are generally too long to be undertaken over a training weekend and, in most cases, do not count towards their annual bounty payment qualifying criteria. Nevertheless, providing support to AMW is a popular activity and there is always an air of anticipation when tasks are allocated because personnel provide their availability in advance so don t immediately know where they will be going. Again, this welcome support is of mutual benefit for AMW and 4624 Squadron. For us, our support to AMW is of particular importance because the world-wide nature of the tasks are a unique selling point for 4624 Squadron and are seen as our most retention-positive activity. No 4624 Squadron also performs a significant, yet unsung, role at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford by providing the only AT aircraft handling capability for the entire event. Squadron personnel also assisted with the loading 4624 Squadron Movers on Ops in Cyprus and unloading of road transport with specialist transfer loaders, heavy forklifts and good old-fashioned muscle power. Last year, nearly 60 aircraft loads from 15 different nations and a wide variety of aircraft, both familiar and unfamiliar, were handled, the majority during the two days prior to the event and in a frenetic 10 hour period on departures day. The Squadron also contributed personnel to the RAF village, engaged with the public and undertook recruiting duties Movers working with 1AMW Movers 4624 Squadron at RIAT 49

50 Over the last 12 months 4624 Squadron has mobilised 20 personnel to provide additional, unestablished, routine support to the RAF. That might not sound much but the oft-quoted figure when quantifying the amount of routine support provided on an annual basis by the RAuxAF (all 27 squadrons) to the Regular Force is 5,500 RSDs Squadron provides a significant percentage of that output. The amount of support we provide, along with the sheer breadth and variety of the activity that is undertaken by Squadron personnel, is an excellent example of how reservists can - and should - be used to provide genuine utility as part of the Whole Force. With an increased reliance on reservists in the future, and with the genuine support and buy-in of the Regular Logs (Mov) organization, the personnel of 4624 Squadron, in their 35th year, provide a reassuring example of how the Whole Force concept, given the right conditions, really can work. No 4626 (County Of Wiltshire) Aeromedical Squadron No 4626 (County of Wiltshire) Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron was formed on 9 September 1983 as a result of lessons learned during the Falklands war in 1982 which identified the need to enhance the Royal Air Force s Aeromedical capabilities. The Squadron formed at RAF Wroughton and was tasked to provide trained men and women to act as medical escorts to evacuate battle casualties during time of war and to reinforce the regular RAF Aeromedical Service during peacetime. Since then the Squadron has been based at Hullavington and Lyneham before moving to its current home at RAF Brize Norton. In 1991 the Squadron was mobilised for the first time to support Op GRANBY, taking over responsibility for running aeromedical facilities at Riyadh, Al Jubayl, Dhahran and at Muharraq in Bahrain. Following Op GRANBY a number of Squadron personnel were mobilised again to provide Op PROVIDE COMFORT, a humanitarian mission to support the displaced Kurds. During the Balkan conflict, Squadron personnel regularly provided support to the aeromedical teams flying military and civilian casualties out of Split or Pristina airports back to the UK for treatment. When the UK government decided to intervene in the conflict in Sierra Leone again 4626 Squadron personnel were involved in performing a number of aeromedical evacuations form that country. However, it was in 2003 that the Squadron was next mobilised en masse, along with the rest of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, to support the UK s contribution to the coalition effort to liberate Iraq during Op TELIC. Based in Cyprus, Kuwait and Iraq the Squadron flew 75 aeromedical missions, evacuating more than 1,140 sick and injured coalition personnel and Iraqi civilians. BFA Medevac In May 2006 the Squadron became committed to providing personnel to fill 5 established lines on Op HERRICK in Afghanistan. These were predominantly in the Tactical and Strategic Aeromedical and Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) roles. However, the Squadron also provided personnel over and above this requirement and which saw them deploy as part of the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit at Camp Bastion. This commitment endured until September Aeromed support with a total of 181 Squadron personnel deploying to Afghanistan during this period Squadron RAUXAF 2016/17 Since the its operational commitments in Afghanistan ceased, the Squadron has worked to prepare itself to support the rapid and dynamic nature of contingency operations likely to occur in an uncertain world. Already since the start of 2015 the Squadron has mobilised personnel to support Op SHADER, the UK contribution to the coalition against ISIS in Iraq, and Op GRITROCK, assisting in the treatment of Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. Squadron Training Events The Squadron motto translates to Safely Home and reflects a 34 year history of delivering aeromedical evacuation and casualty care from point of wounding all the way back to the UK. 2016/17 saw the Squadron take on the additional roles of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) and Primary Healthcare (PHC). The challenge of recruiting, training and retaining our personnel in order to meet future operational requirements has been met fully. In addition to growing our new cadres of personnel, we responded to new and evolving tasks not previously tasked. Examples include providing manpower support to PJOBs and overseas Defence commitments (e.g. BATUK and BATUS). The Squadron follows a simple, effective mantra of Recruit, Train and Retain. In terms of recruiting, the past Financial Year saw the Squadron surpass its ambitious recruiting target of 30 by four personnel (112%). The 2016/17 annual training programme was extremely successful and included our Annual Continuous Training (ACT) exercise which was hailed as an exemplar of Whole Force integration, mission rehearsal and validation. Retention-positive activities, offers of funded external training and promotion of any and all opportunities that demonstrate investment in our personnel

51 were explored and exploited to the full. May 2017 saw the Squadron become one of the largest in the RAuxAF with 172 of its 193 posts filled. So, in just 4 years, the Squadron has transitioned from decline into considerable growth, from fewer than 100 personnel in 2013 to 89% manning today, and we remain ahead of target to achieve full manning by No 501 (Country of Gloucester) Logistics Support Squadron No 501 Squadron formed on 14 June 1929 as No 501 (City of Bristol) Squadron, a special Reserve Squadron operating DH9As. In 1936 it became 501 (County of Gloucester Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, converting from Westland Wallaces to Hawker Harts and then to Hawker Hinds. In 1938 No 501 Squadron was transferred from Bomber Command to Fighter Command and received their first Hawker Hurricanes in March Following action in France as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF), the Nil Time No Fear Squadron recovered to England and took part in the Battle of Britain. By 17 December 1940, Squadron pilots had claimed 149 destroyed and boasted aces such as Ginger Lacey, Kenneth Mackenzie and Antoni Glowacki to name but three. During the rest of World War 2 the Squadron served in the UK flying Spitfires and then Tempests, memorably including in the battle against the V-1 flying bombs. By the end of World War 2, No 501 Squadron had flown 11,140 sorties and 501 Squadron Standard had shot down 201 enemy aircraft and 84 V-1s. The Squadron was disbanded on 20 April No 501 Squadron was reformed on 10 May 1946 at Filton as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force fighter squadron flying Vampire FB9s before being disbanded again in March In June 2001 No 501 Squadron was again reformed with a Force Protection role at Royal Air Force Brize Norton as No 501 (County of Gloucester) Operational Support Squadron in order to provide Reserve Royal Air Force Regiment personnel and other tradesmen. Squadron personnel deployed to Iraq as part of Op TELIC in 2003 and to Afghanistan in 2006 as part of Op HERRICK. 501 Squadron Vampire scramble 501 in France May 1940 Ginger Lacey Scramble 18 Aug

52 In April 2013 No 501 Squadron re-roled from being a Force Protection Squadron to a Logistics Support Squadron and now provides Reserve Royal Air Force Drivers and Suppliers to support the Royal Air Force Air Transport Fleet. 501 Squadron in Basrah 501 Squadron 2017 During the last 12 months 501 Squadron has continued to develop as the Part Time Volunteer Reserve (PTVR) cadre has steadily increased. The Squadron now runs training weekends twice a month, using the Squadron s full-time instructors. Over and above Supply Trg the professional trade training, personnel have participated in a Squadron Ceremonial event and a Dutch VE day event in Holland, the Iraq/Aghanistan Memorial Service and Armed Forces Day events; they also participated in a number of 2016 Remembrance Day events for which the Squadron provided a marching contingent. Squadron personnel have also undertaken personal development with the Squadron including Force Development visits to Hendon and Cranwell, leadership training and trauma management training. Operationally, the Squadrons PTVR personnel have provided MT and Supply support to Brize Norton and have supported the Royal International Air Tattoo; the instructors have also provided training for personnel from a wide range of external agencies. To date, six drivers and 2 suppliers have been mobilised to serve tours alongside their Regular colleagues in the UK and the Falkland Islands. 501 Squadron on Exercise Mudmaster Iraq/Aghanistan Memorial Day Squadron Mudmaster Winning Teams

53 No 622 SQUADRON Bellamus Noctu (We Wage War by Night) 622 Squadron was formed from C Flight, No XV Squadron, on 10 August 1943 at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk. No 622 Squadron was to be a two-flight squadron with an establishment of sixteen Short Stirling bombers on the line with a further four in reserve. The first appointed CO was Wing Commander George Gibson, DFC and the Squadron was granted a badge which took the form of a long-eared owl volant affrontee, carrying a flash of lightning in its talons. The adopted motto was Bellamus Noctu (We Wage War by Night). During December 1943 the Squadron converted to Avro Lancaster bombers. Having undertaken numerous operations against enemy targets, at the end of World War Two 622 Squadron participated in both Manna (food dropping) operations in Holland and Exodus (repatriation of former PoWs back to the U.K.) missions. In December Squadron was resurrected in the transport role, flying Vickers Valetta aircraft, as part of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force based at Blackbush, Hampshire before being disbanded at the end of September During its time as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron No 622 Squadron conveyed troops, passengers, freight and equipment to numerous locations around the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Vickers Varsity When RAF Lyneham closed, 1359 Flight (Hercules Reserve Aircrew) relocated to RAF Brize Norton. As the number of personnel and aircraft on which it operated increased, 1359 Flight was rebadged as 622 Squadron on 1 October 2012, again, as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force unit, operating Hercules C130, Tristar, C-17 and VC10 aircraft. It is now designated as a Reserve Aircrew and Flying Support Squadron. Short Stirling Avro Lancaster 622 Squadron 2017 C130J Hercules The Squadron has almost reached full manning of 75. and delete the rest of the sentence until the demand for manpower and SMEs continues across Station and Parachute Jump Instructors and Personnel Support branch personnel are now joining 622 Squadron. Mobilisations continue across all the platforms and theatres of operations and a number of individuals have been involved in the new VIP-fit Voyager aircraft now travelling to global destinations. This was a busy year for the Squadron with regard to our history. Personnel undertook a Staff Ride to Normandy visiting the D-Day landing sites and also some of the 622 Squadron graves in the area. The Squadron had its slate crest in St Clement Danes replaced because the original one had become worn beyond recognition. A number of current Squadron personnel and some of its Bomber Command veterans were present at the unveiling. Squadron personnel also attended the 5th Anniversary Service of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, again supporting the WW2 veterans in remembering their fallen colleagues. 622 Squadron crew s post-op de-brief Following the cessation of hostilities, 622 Squadron was disbanded in August In the sporting world, a 622 Squadron Reservist won the RAF Hang Gliding Championship with another Squadron Reservist coming 3rd. A Squadron member worked at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and another travelled to Australia and New Zealand as part of the RAF Veterans Rugby team tour. 53

54 BRIZE CIVILIAN AGENCIES SERCO Serco have been providing the Multi-Activity Contract (MAC) services at RAF Brize Norton for 20 Years. We provide a variety of services to the Station; some of the activities we undertake are very visible and others less so, but all are equally valuable. Our most visible team are the men and women who look after the main entrance to Station and issue temporary passes to the approximately 130,000 visitors that the Station hosts each year, followed closely by the photographic team who record all the parades, ceremonies, visits and other events that are an everyday facet of life at Brize Norton. Our other teams are more specialised and therefore less visible unless you have need of their specific skills such as repair of avionics equipment, wiring husbandry training, portable appliance testing or ambulance driving. Additionally, for a period of approximately 12 years, we provided support to the Air Movements Section to free military staff for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and, more recently, we have successfully transitioned the Cleaning and waste teams to Sodexo as part of the regional HESTIA programme. Vital to the delivery of all the services that we have provided over the years, and continue to provide, are our people. As the Station celebrates 80 years, we are celebrating 20 years of support to RAF Brize Norton with 30 of our staff having been with us from the start. One of the key factors that Serco is recognised for is our flexibility. The Contract hasn t stood still and we have adapted to support the changing needs of our customers. When RAF Lyneham closed some of the services, such as the driving support we provide to Tactical Medical Wing, transferred to Brize Norton and the team are as customer focussed now as ever, providing support to Ebola transfer and many other short notice tasks. 54 Our most visible team are the men and women who look after the main entrance to Station and issue temporary passes to the approximately 130,000 visitors that the Station hosts each year

55 British Forces Broadcasting Service On the 31st March 2014 Forces Radio BFBS Brize Norton hit the Station s community heralding a new chapter in forces broadcasting as the group looked to expand its presence back in the UK across major military establishments. Equally it was the first time that BFBS had worked so closely with the Royal Air Force in the UK, and the concept was to create a strong platform to unite the county of Oxfordshire s strong military community, with the emphasise being on the thriving and constantly evolving nature of the Station and its families. Three years down the line and the relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. Forming a tight cohesion covering all aspects of Station life, sharing it across our locality, and representing the bigger story of events happening here at Brize on the national and global networks. Alongside BFBS team on location at Brize the full-time presenters, personnel from the Station take up important roles as volunteer contributors, bringing invaluable insight into modern forces life. Nicky Ness, Director of Forces Broadcasting and Entertainment, SSVC/BFBS: The collaboration between the Royal Air Force, Brize Norton station, BFBS and the Ministry of Defence achieved an almost impossible ask in identifying a location, building the facility and recruiting staff in order to get on air by the end of the financial year. We were flash to bang in ten weeks and absolutely delighted to find that within just three months of launch, BFBS Brize Norton had a 45% reach within the community. We know the station has gone from strength to strength since and is held up as a perfect example of community radio achieving exactly what was intended in support of audiences and their lives. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group (MADG) is Prime Contractor for the Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) contract with Lockheed Martin (LM) and Rolls-Royce (R-R) as sub-primes, working in a partnered relationship with the UK MOD and RAF. The contract was awarded in 2006 and HIOS celebrated its 10th anniversary in HIOS is a partnered relationship between the UK MoD and Industry which means that personnel at all levels from both Industry and the RAF work together, jointly, to deliver the 47 Squadron (Eng) Squadron mission which is to make as many C130J aircraft as possible fit for purpose and available in order to achieve the UK Defence operations and training tasks. HIOS includes all aspects of support to the RAF Hercules fleet including: aircraft maintenance (at both Forward and Depth), technical support, supply chain, and propulsion management. On aircraft engineering work at Brize Norton is conducted by 47 (Eng) Squadron and MADG Aircraft Engineers who work together to undertake Line and heavy rectification tasks has seen major changes in the organisation with RAF and MADG aircraft engineers now fully integrated as a joint workforce. MADG also undertakes a variety of off-aircraft work at Brize Norton including: the repair and maintenance of aircraft trim (troop seats, insulation blankets, etc), the storage and maintenance of role equipment and the repair of structural components. Lockheed Martin (LM) provides C130J Design Authority expertise to 47 (Eng) Squadron via on-base Field Service Reps and also the maintenance of the propeller through their sub-contractor GE-Dowty. LM is also responsible for overall management of the extensive HIOS supply chain, which stretches from Marietta in the USA through to Brize Norton and out to deployed sites worldwide. Industry logs staff work closely with RAF logs staff in the Combined Logistic Facility (CLF) (H88), Log Ops in the Eng & Logs Coord Flt (ELCF) and HIOS Goods In (H74). R-R operate an engine availability contract for the AE2100D3; providing a full range of technical, logistic and mechanical support. R-R Field Service Engineers are collocated with 47Squadron (Eng) Squadron providing support that includes training, assistance and troubleshooting on-wing faults. In H90 R-R undertakes off-wing bay minor activity, including intermediate engine repairs to ensure the rapid return of QECAs to serviceable status. R-R logs staff are embedded with LM, MA and the RAF in a joint logs environment. RR have recently opened a Service Delivery Centre adjacent to Hangar 90 to enhance their engine support across platforms at RAF Brize Norton. Extra resource is being put in place including a powerplant engineer to evaluate what extra services can be offered to the UKMOD and with an aim to decrease to zero the disruption caused by engine faults, on the products supplied by Rolls Royce Squadron Air Training Corps 2267 (Brize Norton) Squadron was formed in Bampton in 1950, originally as 2267 (Bampton & Brize Norton) Squadron, where they paraded twice weekly at Bampton School. In 1963 they moved out of the school and into a purpose-built new Squadron building which cost the princely sum of 3,000. During this time, the Squadron consisted of cadets who mainly lived close to RAF Brize Norton and these cadets were being transported to Bampton by the MT department at Brize Norton for every parade night. Squadron in

56 HM the Queen s visit 1991 Squadron Band at Witney Remembrance Day Parade Ceremonial Event at Black Bourton 2267 at an Athletics Meet In 1970 a detached flight was created in Lechlade, parented by 2267 Squadron, to meet an increase in demand for cadet places in the locality. In 1971 the Squadron formally changed its name to 2267 (Brize Norton) Squadron due to the connection with the RAF base and, in 1974, the Squadron building was disassembled and relocated onto RAF Brize Norton in its present location on the Station (opposite No 99 Squadron). More recently, in 2015 the building was finally condemned and the Squadron was moved temporarily to the Force Development Squadron where it continues to parade pending the building of a new ATC Squadron HQ which is to be built on the grounds of the previous hut. The Squadron has gone from strength to strength over the years and has considerably grown in numbers so that it is now the largest Squadron within Thames Valley Wing with 101 cadets. The Current Officer Commanding is Squadron Leader Colin Burrell who, like many of our staff, is a former RAF Regular. He is supported by a team of volunteer instructors; these include several civilian instructors who have a variety of backgrounds and work alongside a number of serving RAF personnel, including some working at Brize Norton and there is even an ex-navy NCO! The Squadron regularly participates in Adventurous Training, Flying, Sports, Shooting, Community Volunteering, Radio Communications and Fieldcraft activities. They are also heavily involved in the Duke of Edinburgh s Award scheme with 22 cadets currently participating in the programme. Many of our cadets go on to careers in the RAF and the MOD and we are presently aware of a doctor, some specialist civil servant graduates, multiple technicians, an intelligence analyst, an air traffic controller and a driver who graduated from the Squadron within the last 10 years. The Squadron has gone from strength to strength over the years and has considerably grown in numbers so that it is now the largest Squadron within Thames Valley Wing with 101 cadets. 56

57 BRIZE PEOPLE In this section, we have contributions from a number of personnel who have served at Brize Norton and who give their own personnel reflections on their time serving on the base. Reflections from an un-named member of LXX Squadron As you drive down the slip road from the A40 onto the A4095 you can t fail to notice the imposing sight of Base Hangar s towering structure amid the green fields of the lower Brize Norton area. Once famed as Western Europe s largest cantilever structure, the sight of Base Hanger remains exactly the same today as it did in 1967 when it was first erected. But whereas before you only looked upon one very large hanger, nowadays you look on four very imposing structures all designed to house aeroplanes. These buildings are a physical symbol of how RAF Brize Norton has evolved over the years which can be readily seen by Service personnel and the general public alike. It s also quite easy to see the changes in the domestic accommodation structures, especially the new four story SLAM block which help to house approximately 2,000 living-in junior ranks. The above mentioned changes are very physical and tangible developments driven by the growth of the Station and its aviation assets. But there are other more subtle changes which the unit has had to undergo with regard to its role as the focal point for the RAF s Air Mobility fleet. In particular, one role springs to mind. It doesn t take up a lot of the unit s time, nor does it take up a lot of space, but it is hugely important and its significance cannot be over-emphasised. That role is the utilisation of RAF Brize Norton as the UK point of entry for repatriating Service Men and Women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country and lost their lives on foreign fields far from this green and pleasant land. Originally RAF Lyneham performed this role and its close association with Royal Wootton Basset is now a well-known story, but Lyneham s closure meant that a new port-of-entry had to be appointed. Thus on the 8 September 2011 RAF Brize Norton became the portal through which our fallen Service personnel return to the UK and embark on their final journey. In support of the bereaved families a Repatriation Centre was established on the south side of the airfield and the unit s close association with Carterton has also seen the creation of a memorial garden along the main thoroughfare down which the funeral cortège drives. Most people who drive down that slip road from the A40 and look at Base Hangar s big blue façade don t dwell on the sacrifice the few have made for the many, but RAF Brize Norton does and, as a mark of respect, the whole unit pauses in respectful silence each time a C17 lands with the deceased on board. To date RAF Brize Norton has had the sombre duty of repatriating 70 Heroes and the unit should be rightly proud of how it serves the fallen and their loved ones in what has become a very sombre but dignified event. As long as there is a need for such events then RAF Brize Norton stands ready to serve. 57

58 FS Robin Kirkpatrick LXX Squadron I have watched RAF Brize Norton morph over my 25 year association. The Station that I arrived at in 1992 is not the one that I came back to in 2007; yet it was. Many of the buildings have withstood the test of time; some not very well. Standing on the Aircraft Servicing Platform you cannot be anything but impressed by the capability change from legacy aircraft to the new models operating from the Station. The only thing that has not changed is the professionalism and dedication of the people who work here. Sgt James Warden Weapons Systems Operator (Crew) 99 Squadron James has been with No 99 Squadron for three years after transferring from serving as a helicopter crewman on No 28 Squadron at RAF Benson. As a WSO, James operates many of the aircraft s systems both on the ground and in flight, supervises the overall loading of freight and passengers onto the aircraft and calculates the weight and balance to ensure a safe flight. He has served with No 99 Squadron for only a few years, but James values the experience so far. The great thing about serving with No 99 Squadron is that there s so much variety in the job and the things you have to deal with. I initially spent three months in America with other crew and pilots for our training, and also transported cargo on an around-theworld route, which was a fantastic opportunity to see places I d never thought I d visit. We also spent a week helping the National Submarine Unit deploy on an exercise in Norway, including squeezing the entire rescue submarine into the back of a C-17, which was an interesting experience to say the least! One of the most sombre yet honoured occasions James has had the privilege of taking part in as a member of No 99 Squadron was the repatriation of two Puma pilots, Flt Lt Al Scott and Flt Lt Geraint Roly Roberts, who were killed in an accident in Afghanistan in Roly had been one of my instructors at RAF Shawbury, so I knew him quite well, and I d met Al Scott a few times too. I met the C-17 carrying them when it landed in October and conducted all the ground operations for the repatriation. I d done a few of them in the past, but obviously that one was quite close to home and it was an honour to do that for the guys. Having personal experience of losing Service members in the line of duty, James has a ready appreciation for being a part of No 99 Squadron and its memorable history. I ve been lucky enough to have served on two long-standing squadrons and it always amazing to think of the stories of previous aircrew and their accomplishments and sacrifices for this country in times of war. It s a massive honour to have my name associated with it and to play a small part in the Squadron s history. As for Brize Norton itself, James continuously finds amazement in how fantastically busy it is. It s amazing how much infrastructure they manage to squeeze in and the range of air bridges we operate. Also, given how many people there are serving here, there s a risk it could become a bit of a faceless place, but there s always a huge effort put in during the Squadron and Brize family days, which is a great opportunity for our loved ones to see what we do and what we accomplish here. Sgt Rob Phair - Aircraft Technician (Mechanical) 99 Squadron For almost five years Rob has served as a Senior NCO Documents Controller on No 99 Squadron, checking the standards of the aircraft and facilitating the necessary paperwork to ensure the safe and smooth operations of the Squadron s C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Paperwork binds the aircraft together! said Rob humorously, though in truth he and his colleagues play an important role, from the usual day-to-day operations to the huge task of conducting a standards check after a C-17 returns to its manufacturer, Boeing in Texas, every five years for a complete maintenance overhaul. Prior to serving with No 99 Squadron, Rob spent six years performing the same role with No 101 Squadron and its VC-10 aircraft. He then transferred to work with the Oxygen Support Section for seven years, ensuring that oxygen components for aircraft were well maintained or testing and developing new systems, though he spent the majority of his time working with high altitude parachutists who require an oxygen supply to breathe while jumping from such heights. I first arrived at Brize in 1999, so whichever squadron or section I ve served with, I ve been here for 18 years, said Rob. Though it s a big unit, I m pretty confident in saying that I could walk into any squadron or section on camp and probably know at least one or two people. One of the first things I did when I arrived was join the Station rugby team, which I m still involved with as team manager and assistant coach. I m from Cheltenham anyway, and still live around there, so it s been great to have the best of both worlds as part of an active service community, having a stable location to raise a family and yet have a job that lets me travel the world and make a contribution. As part of that contribution Rob feels a keen sense of No 99 Squadron s heritage, no more so than when he walks through the main entrance and you see the previous commanding officers on the photo wall and the dates that show how far back they go. Our standard that hangs up in the church at Brize village just shows you the connection there is here between Squadron and place. 58

59 Cpl Wendy Robinson Aircraft Technician (Mechanical) 99 Squadron After joining the RAF in 2001, Wendy spent over 12 years working on No 101 Squadron s VC-10 fleet before they were decommissioned; she transfered to No 99 Squadron and its C-17 Globemasters just over three years ago. Wendy s engineering administration role involves regularly checking technical standards and facilitating the necessary paperwork to ensure the safe operations of the Squadron s C-17 Globemaster aircraft. I m a small part of a far bigger machine, admits Wendy, but as with a lot of things in engineering, everything has its place, including the small but vital components. It can be easy to take a job for granted when you do it day in, day out, but you re still making an important contribution, not least to flight operations and safety, as well as big global things such as the delivery of humanitarian aid. Of course by small part I also mean in the sense of the history and story of the Squadron and Brize itself. When you consider they ve been around for decades, almost a century in the Squadron s case, it makes me feel like a bit of a baby sometimes when 5I think for how long I ve been here by comparison! FS Andy Harrison No1 Air Mobility Wing My first assignment to Brize Norton was 2 May 1986 on the Air Movements Squadron (AMS). The Lockheed Tristar had come into service and, alongside the VC10, provided air to air refuelling for the RAF as well as providing global airlift for passengers and freight and mail. During 1990, the build up to Gulf War 1 began and AMS commenced the movement of record numbers of passengers and freight before, during and after the end of combat operations. At the start of the conflict AMS personnel had to adopt a shift pattern to cover working in the Explosive Storage Area and Bay 35, building and loading massive amounts of Class 1 Dangerous Air Cargo to be moved to theatre. The new shift was 12 hrs on, 12 hours off which lasted for 30 unbroken days. The arrival of the first C17 Globemaster in April 2000, and the increasing use of civilian charter to support ops the second Gulf War (OP TELIC) in 2003 and Afghanistan (OP HERRICK), meant that support for AMS was needed and this came in the guise of SERCO. At the height of OP TELIC/HERRICK there were up to 75 SERCO contractors employed in AMS, many of them ex Movers. Following the end of Ops, the contract was ended, although many of the personnel employed found other roles within the Station. When the C130 Force and associated units moved across from RAF Lyneham in 2011, No 1 Air Mobility Wing (1 AMW), relocated to Brize and set up their HQ in what was previously 19 Squadron RAF Regt (which subsequently became Tactical Comms Wing) HQ. The immediate challenge was to squeeze the Operational Support Squadron, the five operation flights (each of 54 personnel) and the vast amount of deployable equipment into the limited space in Bldg 990 and its even more limited surrounds. Car parking for AMW personnel was, and still is, a challenge. Following 1 AMW s re-location to Brize and the end of OP HERRICK, the use of Charter aircraft has reduced considerably; capability has been maintained by the growing C17 Fleet, the introduction of the Airbus 330 Voyager (replacing VC10 and Tristar), and the introduction of the A400M Atlas. There has been an increase in the Defence Exercise Programme as well as new Ops which has resulted in AMW personnel continuing their role of supporting RAF Air Transport aircraft worldwide. Today, Brize Norton is highly operationally focussed, undoubtedly more so than in 1986 during my first tour. Despite the aging infrastructure, 1AMW and AMS still provide a high quality service, enabling and providing air movements capability in support of worldwide operations. Sqn Ldr Andy Marshall Brize 1982, , , Present Day My first memories of RAF Brize Norton were on Battle of Britain Day 1982, when straight from the parade ground of RAF Swinderby, I was deposited, still in my rankless No1 Uniform, at the door of Barrack Block 551 with 9 other potential movers. I remember entering the main gate and seeing the Duty Corporal and SAC in their No1 uniforms, thinking something important was happening, only to be told that that was the standard dress for the gate guards. I also remember that BB551 was near to the dog section and it was a very noisy environment. Even in 1982, Brize was a big unit, although there were only 3 flying units (10 Squadron, 115 Squadron and 241 OCU). However, it still had the legacy of its American era, including a bowling alley, 59

60 cinema, remains of a petrol station, regular visits from B52 s, and even a dry ski slope. During the next 35 years, the cinema became home to Mobility Supply Flight, the petrol station is now the car park next to the DCCT building, and even BB551 has been replaced by a SLAM block. One of the better changes was the relocation of the very noisy dog section from the airmen s accommodation area to its new location near the threshold of runway 25. Posted to Lyneham, I made regular visits back to Brize for courses (I worked at the 1984 Brize Air Day), and to fly on VC10s as part of my air movements duties. In 1993, following commissioning and a tour in Germany, I was posted back to Brize, firstly to the RAF Movements School, then as a Duty Air Movements Officer. What had changed in the 10 years since my first arrival? The cinema had closed, Tristars had arrived (the old gym was now home to the Tristar simulator), VC10Ks had arrived and 241 OCU was now 57 (R) Squadron. On the infrastructure side, Base Hangar had extensions on their doors to accommodate Tristars and the Spotlight Club had a makeover to change it from a dance hall to a night club environment. During the next five years, until my posting in 1998, I witnessed the beginnings of the Air Terminal extension, and helped move 4624 Squadron into the SNCO Annex (Building 7b). Although living locally, my next tour at Brize was not until By that time APOE Wing was in existence, the C17s had been at Brize for nearly a decade, their HQ replacing the PTS parachute training towers, and the Air Tanker Complex had been built. There was more parking space for aircraft, but less for cars, single living accommodation was being improved and some new married quarters built. Project Gateway was in full swing, planning the move of the C130 Force and associated units from Lyneham to Brize, and I witnessed the building of the C130 hangar, as well as 47 AD Squadron s new technical accommodation and the Repatriation Centre. Older buildings were being re-cycled to meet the growing numbers of contractors working on the base, and the Station photographers seemed to change location on a regular basis. Leaving Brize in 2012, I returned in 2013 in my current role; even after that short period away I have seen massive change to the Station. VC10s, Tristars and C130Ks have retired from Service, A330 Voyager and A400Ms have arrived and there are new buildings springing up everywhere; old buildings continue to be re-furbished and put to new use. And, the Station photographers have moved back to the site they were at in 1982! Dave Sherman Logs Squadron 1996-Today Having worked in Logs Squadron since 1996, as you can imagine I have noticed quite a few changes. The one area that springs to mind immediately is the personnel aspect. As the RAF closes bases and loses manpower, being the largest station in the service, I have seen many people leave, and return. Notably Flt Sgt Taff Williams & Sgt Mattie Hawkes who I have known since their days as troublesome SACs on the Inventories desk. And they still give me a hard time! I must say, it is always good to see old friends and acquaintances coming back again to reminisce and to hear what they have been doing in the meantime. On a professional basis, over the years there have been many changes. With the closure of RAF Lyneham and the subsequent relocation of aircraft and personnel here, it meant quite an increase in workload for most areas within the Squadron. From the attitudes we encountered, you could tell it was not a popular move for the new incumbents. Still, time is a good healer and 5 years down the line, Brize supply methods now seem to have been accepted. Additionally, as the older aircraft platforms were retired and the new ones introduced, with them came their own support cover therefore reducing the workload on the Supply workforce. The main area that has been affected is BSF as spare parts are delivered direct to the various squadrons which has impacted on R&D, Forward Delivery & Tech Stores. As such, manning levels have been reduced and relocated to the squadrons themselves. Certain areas of responsibility such as OMIT and Stationery have relocated to Ops Wing as the unit changed to a more IT orientated organization and it was felt those areas sat better with them. Chris James (Defence Movements School AC to D Grade) Where to begin? In September 1982 after weeks of sleep deprivation, I and an assortment of other Erks were discharged from a THE bus outside the hallowed portals of the RAF Movements School (RAFMS). In Barrack Block 551, the accommodation was 4 or 5 to a room, a vast improvement on the 20 man jobs during basic! We were introduced to our Instructors, who told us we re the first course for over a year as recruiting had been reduced and then frozen to meet new quotas, (Couldn t happen today, could it?). We were confronted by a huge pile of paperwork and publications which were ours to treasure for the next few weeks and that pinnacle of technology, the Overhead Projection (OHP) machine! The classroom, we discovered, was adjacent to a taxiway holding point and for a good portion of the day lessons were bellowed at us while endless VC10 aircraft turned and burned. Oddly enough, students nearest to the instructor seemed to grasp the subject better than those sat at the back. To our surprise we spent days filling in paperwork for Vehicles and Trains (So much for joining the Jet Set!) but are assured that we will probably never have to do it. 60

61 After weeks of form filling we were introduced to the Practical Training Area (PTA) which appeared to have been last serviced by the Luftwaffe. Within it we discovered a surprisingly realistic Hercules mock-up and a Belfast mock-up (out of service since 1976), however, by utilising a crayon and imagination, it served as a surrogate Hercules of sorts. Also there was an Andover mockup which was seldom used other than for storing pigeons as the aircraft was virtually out of service for freight carrying duties. Practical training involved loading and lashing freight (some of which had been in service during the Crimea) to the mock-ups; these were mostly flat floor as this apparently saved valuable payload. The spectre of endless Humping and Dumping first appeared on the radar at this point. Once we had mastered this, built the odd pallet (and cleaned up after the pigeons) we did our final exams and tests. On completion it was: have your kit packed, the bus is at midday tomorrow and off to your new stations to start work proper. So what s changed over the last 35 years? Within the PTA some of the larger museum pieces that we have been custodians of have now moved on; some will remember the Bell Sioux helicopter, Westland Wasp and Harrier GR1 (finally taken away in 2016). Today there remains a constant effort to maintain the currency and credibility of the training loads. The mock-up situation has also improved over time; the Belfast and Andover were replaced by Hercules mock-ups and space was found at the back of the Hangar to locate a section of the front and back of a VC10 airframe. Spliced together, this was often referred to as the VC 5. Many students gained their first experience of wrestling bananas and stacking vents here. The VC5 has now gone to the boneyard but we now have a very shiny A400M mock-up and two Hercules J mock-ups that have recently been refurbished. The hangar s skin no longer resembles the battle ensign on HMS Victory post Trafalgar; it is watertight, wind tight and almost pigeon proof. For Basic Movement Training (BMT) Students most of the real estate remains but classrooms have improved over the years. The 3rd tranche smart board equipment has just been installed (light years ahead of the projectors and slides of 35 years ago). All classrooms can show digital media; some will remember loading film into the School Cinema s projector but technology has moved and is moving at pace. As ever the School endeavours to keep up. Some will remember the first computers they ever saw, metal keyboarded, green-screened British Airways sponsored, Movements Management Air Reservation System (MMARS) machines which arrived in the 80s, the Service Air Cargo System machines, and later iterations of MMARS hardware. All now gone and replaced by new systems. We still have to achieve the quantum leap of Wi-Fi, this time next year Rodney The current BMT students are much better informed thanks to modern media and staff visits to them during basic training. The content of BMT changes with the times and great effort is made to ensure all content is up-to-date and reflects working practices on the shop floor. On course completion they now move onto the Movements Conversion Unit, prior to proper employment. This system which reflects industry best practice allows them to utilise newly learned skills under controlled conditions. Though the students themselves haven t changed, their expectations, knowledge and life experience certainly have. The DMTS rumbles on regardless, a few buildings and an outstanding student refreshment facility have fallen prey to policy and the demolition ball and other temporary buildings have been added to the existing 30-year-old ones. Its interior could optimistically be described as shabby chic but 45 years on, school business, like many of the problems and differences of opinion remain the same. Walking down the corridors when locking up, you sometimes get a sense of all those fellow Movers -colleagues, lifetime friends and those departed - who ve trodden the same path, (and looking at the state of it, the carpet), over the last 45 years. Flt Lt JC Stephens AE VR, Part Time Volunteer Reservist 4624 (County of Oxford) Royal Auxiliary Air Force Movements Squadron, RAF Brize Norton December 1982, Anson Avenue, RAF Brize Norton, empty married quarters, empty huts and the VC10MS. Stand out building was the WRAF WO s and SNCO s accommodation annex of the Sgt s Mess with its OUT OF BOUNDS TO ALL MALE PERSONNEL sign. This building is now, of course, the 4624 Squadron HQ; empty buildings and office space are a thing of the past now. Brize Norton is now host to five reserve squadrons with 4624 and 2624 Squadrons laying the foundation stones for reserves at Brize Norton in There are also many posts now manned by exregular personnel on reservist terms and conditions. Centred around the Airmen s Mess quarter are old junior ranks accommodation blocks; not the traditional types like those around the Sgt s mess car park but old red brick blocks, dreary looking like something from the Soviet Bloc. There were even old portacabins that were used as temporary accommodation, their condition such that they made the front pages of the Red Top tabloids! Night time sounds were the calls of the RAF Police Dogs that were kennelled on the edge of the airfield adjacent to this area; this was of course when the VC10s were not exercising their powerful Conways or 216 Squadron Tristars RB211s as they took off en route to the Falkland s. Station HQ, now BSW HQ, was very Cold War looking with its dark brown painted window frames and doors which have now been modernised with ubiquitous white UPVC replacements, however, the Blue Ensign did and still flies proudly outside. The main drag, now named Barwood Avenue in memory of Sgt Baz Barwood, still 61

62 has its PTS bend which still lurks waiting to catch the unsuspecting driver in icy and slippery conditions although the installation of speed bumps and the milder winters have reduced the incidences of such mishaps. In parallel with society in general, traffic volumes have increased considerably and the vehicle types have changed from service Land Rovers with their distinctive tyre whine to lots of modern cars transiting the Station. The three trademark Type C1934 hangars still line the road with the main apron or waterfront on their airfield side with their long-term occupiers of AMS Cargo, PTS and H66, adjacent to the Air Terminal building, now recently occupied by AMS following the disbanding of 216 Squadron and departure of their Tristar aircraft in Was it really 33 years ago when they first arrived, still in their BA livery? C4I is now in the old guardroom building; that s a section that has seen incredible progress. Computers and terminals were things that sat in big mainframe rooms, but slowly we have all had to adapt to the power of the desktop PC which now adorns every desk. Gone are the memo pads along with the perspex notice boards and china graphs but not the piles of paper that were going to be a thing of the past, eliminated in the so called paperless office. The Movements School Hangar 30, unrecognisable now as a Type T2 hangar, looks resplendent in its new cladding transforming it from the WW2 era to the 21st Century; even its interior is now well lit with modern lighting that illuminates the old C130 and the new A400M aircraft rear hold mock-ups. Gone are the Belfast, VC10 and Andover mock-ups. Airside has perhaps undergone some of the biggest changes in recent decades with the VC10s and Tristars going out of service and the introduction of C17, Voyager and A400M aircraft and their hungry appetite for larger aircraft parking areas, new squadron buildings, simulators and hangars, not to mention the transfer and absorption of RAF Lyneham s C130s and its personnel as the RAF centralised its air transport and air-to-air refuelling assets in Brize Norton has seen huge increases in the number of personnel on the Station, both military and civilian with a lot of outsourcing of what were traditionally RAF jobs such as VASS and the use of prime contractors such as Boeing, Airbus and consortiums like Air Tanker for aircraft maintenance and operation. RAF blue uniforms haven t changed much but you do see a lot more personnel going about their business in combat type clothing now and there are always people moving around in sports kit as they maintain their fitness in an expeditionary air force world. But alas, in amongst all the changes, the aircrew boldly maintain their tradition of wearing their flying suits when they are not flying. Some things will never change. Sgt Helena Thomas 4624 (County of Oxford) Royal Auxiliary Air Force Movements Squadron, RAF Brize Norton As the largest RAF station in the UK, I had always been aware of Brize Norton s high profile, but never imagined I would work here. That all changed in 1999 when I saw an advert in my local weekly newspaper (no social media in those days!) to join 4624 Movements Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force. If I remember correctly, it showed a photo of a Hercules being loaded with humanitarian aid and had the enticing caption What Do You Do in your Spare Time? I was sold on the inference that I might still be able to join the Royal Air Force, keep my full-time civilian job and, above all, do my bit despite being over the age of regular recruitment. Just like a lot of people who join the Reserve Forces now, I thought the moment had passed to serve my country, so with my appetite well and truly whetted, I made that call. A few months later, having passed selection, I drove through the Control of Entry Point as a raw recruit, feeling that mixture of anticipation and trepidation, but eager to start two weeks of Basic Training at the Squadron, which had stood up at Brize in Just how different is that entry point today? The road has been widened and re-surfaced, the Visitor Centre built and the SERCO staff are no longer exposed to the elements during their 12 hour shifts. The vast canopy now gives them some well-earned protection in the depths of winter and the heat of summer and they have additional companionship in the form of MPGS personnel, who, in the relatively recent past, have taken over the bulk of the guarding duties from RAF ranks. In the last 17 years, I have seen significant improvements in the standard and availability of accommodation at Brize with the building of many new slam blocks and the establishment of the Welfare Houses at the end of Anson Avenue. These houses now provide an updated and welcome bolt hole for Servicemen and women and their families, but they were once Operational Flight Headquarters for 4624 Squadron personnel. Although not always in the best state of repair, they nevertheless really engendered a sense of identity and belonging in us as part-time volunteer reservists as we turned up religiously once a month after a hard week at our civilian jobs to catch up with our friends and continue our movements training. Whilst these houses were utilised quite legitimately for flight briefings, de-briefings, interviews and relaxing at the end of a long shift or training day, the occasional spontaneous Friday and Saturday night parties inevitably broke out, with some of these events and the personalities involved passing into Squadron folklore. Nobody can accuse movers of being anti-social or poor team players! One 62

63 thing that has remained constant here over the years, however, is the exceptionally high quality of training Brize Norton is able to provide to both its regular, but particularly its reserve movers. Very few of the RAuxAF units around the country can match our facilities or the opportunities the Station gives us for hands-on Phase Two and Three training and we also feel a particularly strong sense of responsibility and pride when we leave the departure lounge at Brize to go on operations, or when, in just doing our job, we send our sister Service colleagues into theatre. This brings into sharp focus in my mind the number of Operation Pabbays we have seen here at Brize over recent years, following the transfer of this very sad, but necessary privilege from RAF Lyneham in preparation for its closure. The building of the Repatriation Centre a few years ago has enabled many bereaved families to receive their loved ones directly from the returning aircraft in a more private and dignified manner before the cortege leaves the Station to pass the memorial in Carterton, always so well supported by the people of the town with whom we have co-existed and worked so closely for many years. Of course we have many more Squadrons and their aircraft here now following the closure of RAF Lyneham and our transport fleet has been enhanced with the arrival of the Voyager and the A400M, but the inveterate spotter at the end of the runway remains a constant feature. Some of these people would give their eye teeth to work inside the wire like us and it is very easy to forget how lucky we are. We sometimes find the constant changes at Brize difficult to deal with, whether it be in office practices, computer systems, the provision and quality of our messing or our infrastructure when squadrons, contractors and civilians move in or out, but you have to look very hard into civilian workplaces to find anything matching our sense of pride, our positivity, good humour and our absolute desire to get a challenging job done. One thing s for sure, Brize Norton the place will continue to develop and change, as will its people, but its ability to inspire the next generation will endure. Cpl Andy Knight 2624 Squadron I arrived at RAF Brize Norton on 17 Dec 80 on a VC10 of No 10 Squadron from a 3-yr tour in Cyprus with my parents. We left RAF Akrotiri in brilliant sunshine and temperatures of 70 Degrees to arrive at a damp and cold RAF Brize Norton to move into a MQ in Halton Road. My Father was posted to 115 Squadron which operated Andovers out of Brize. The other squadrons were 10 Squadron and later 101 Squadron. My memories of that time are that the main gate was situated roughly where the roundabout adjacent to the long-term car park is now and that access to the Station was to the left towards the Gateway House Hotel. The Families club was the NAAFI and I recall there was an ASTRA cinema where the present Bowling Alley is and there used to be a dry ski slope behind where TMW/4626 Squadron is now. At the time the biggest hanger on camp was Base Hanger which was said to be the largest cantilever hanger in Europe. When I joined 2624 Squadron in 1983 our HQ building was a large portacabin on the site of the present C130 simulator just behind FP Trg Flt. This was the era of MINIVAL and MAXEVAL exercises so the Station was regularly tested during these times. Notable among these was, in 1985, Ex BRAVE DEFENDER which was a huge Europewide exercise and 2624 Squadron deployed in the fields around RAF Brize Norton in covert Observation Posts. During my time here there has been quite a lot of building development with new buildings and MQs springing up. The main MQ sites off camp are little changed except for the demolition of the old flats next to the Families Club and the other side of Upavon way, towards Shilton Park. In addition, it s been interesting seeing the modernisation of the Air Mobility fleet and the influx of personnel and the C130 from RAF Lyneham. Cpl Shaun Gibson 2624 Squadron When I joined 2624 Squadron in October 2000, Brize Norton felt like a small, sleepy country town; everyone knew each other and helped one another. Flying was nothing like it is today with few ops to support. This of course changed in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11; you could sense the tempo increasing. I noted how old the Air Mobility fleet looked in the early 2000s so it s been of interest to witness the upgrade of aircraft at Brize Norton over the years. Once the Station started committing aircraft to Op TELIC and then Op HERRICK it was noticeable the Station became impersonal as squadrons increased their operational output. Another key highlight of my time at Brize Norton was the impact of the closure RAF Lyneham and the arrival of the C130 fleet, 47 Air Dispatch and Tactical Med Wing. To me it seemed to put a huge strain on the Station s infrastructure and manpower. The increase of personnel and equipment resulted in new buildings being started with temporary accommodation and slam blocks and two new Hangars, for Army Air Despatch and the C130 Squadrons. More recently, I ve seen the retirement of the VC10, Tristar and C130K, and the introduction of Airbus Voyager and the A400M Atlas, along with further new aircraft hangers. I believe that Brize Norton has become a mini 24/7 city; however, sadly, the old buildings are showing their age and are in much need of investment. I m sure that as RAF Brize Norton celebrates its 80th anniversary it will continue to adapt to the changing environment and remain as the Air Mobility hub for Defence. 63

64 Flt Lt Mick Threlfall Brize Norton , 91-97, , 16-present day I arrived at Brize to attend the 6 month Parachute Jumping Instructors Course on promotion to Sgt.(PTI). My first recollection was of marching into an appalling quarter (since demolished) and my wife flatly refusing to live in it! So 3 months later, after scraping together a deposit, we become house owners in Witney (much against the advice of the old and bold). Our family roots were now firmly established in West Oxon. Brize had Service personnel in depth in many areas that have subsequently been Civilianised; MT and Catering for example were all blue suits. The threat to UK through the 80s was seen as maintaining the UK defence throughout the Cold War and many a happy hour was spent masked up during Tacevals as we drilled to perform in a world following a nuclear or chemical attack. As more of us entered the housing market it became the main topic in many a crew room with many making the move from SFA with a subsequent diluting of the sense of the RAF family being literally on your door step. It was not unusual for at least a weekly visit to a crew room from your friendly insurance man selling the latest financial product (low cost endowment for example) to entice many into the joys of house ownership. The work hard, play hard mentality was very much at the fore of Service life, with the play hard elements being very different to those enjoyed today. Crew room beer calls were more raucous events with copious amounts of ale being consumed in an atmosphere thick with cigarette smoke. Brize has changed over the years, as indeed has the RAF. We are a smaller organization that aims to punch above its weight and equipment from modern aircraft to hand held devices allow us to do just that. Despite all the changes to procedures and infrastructure, our main asset however remains the same. It s the person sat next to you and the one sat next to him/her! Sgt Howard Foley, Training Squadron, Tactical Medical Wing I first arrived at RAF Brize Norton as a crisp new Corporal, posted into the David Stone Medical Centre, back in Jan 02. There was no Junior Ranks accommodation available, therefore my first three weeks were spent in the Gateway House. I eventually moved into BB544, my home for the next three years. Coming from a very small unit, the sheer size of RAF Brize Norton was a little daunting. However, some of my favourite memories were made here, such as: witnessing the Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) capability of the C-17 being realised, ground handling multiple AE flights as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan intensified, enjoying the many nights out at the Spotlight Club and feeling four Conway engines vibrate the BB as they powered a VC10 during take-off. Contrasting this to today s RAF Brize Norton, the aircraft have changed, and they are now all the same colour. The shiny, white fuselages of 216 Squadron s Tristars lined up outside the terminal are now long gone. With the closure of RAF Lyneham and the transfer of units to RAF Brize Norton, I was posted back here. Has RAF Brize Norton really changed? To be honest, fundamentally I don t think it has. The Gateway House is still here and the Station provides the vital air bridge between the UK and its interests overseas. The airfield is a much busier place now, with far more aircraft in the skies and on the waterfront. The 24 hour nature of Air Mobility still requires Station personnel to work tirelessly. Brize Norton still lives up to the description of the RAF s busiest station. Sgt Steve Hardwick, RAF Medic, Deployable Aeromedical Response Team Squadron, Tactical Medical Wing I was lucky enough to be posted to RAF Brize Norton direct from trade training. As a first tour and at the largest station in the Royal Air Force I was quickly welcomed in and began to enjoy the work and social aspect of the Station. As the Medical Centre was a large team we did most things together: Mess, PT and nights out. I remember attending functions organised by the various Squadrons, Catering Flight, Fire and Police Fllight. I can honestly say my first years here at RAF Brize Norton where probably my best years. 64

65 Ten years after leaving the Station I returned, to a different RAF Brize Norton. In many ways it was better, however, in others it was not. My old accommodation block has been demolished and a brand new block stands in its place. The Station now has a swimming pool; the facilities in general had improved. In my opinion Pay as you dine plus SLAM/Super Blocks have changed the RAF. People no longer eat and socialise together anymore, most will disappear into their blocks utilising the kitchens and will not resurface until the morning. I know times change and the RAF changes with it, it s just a shame we are slowly losing what helped made my first tour here the best of my career. WO Yvonne Conway RAF Brize Norton Service Community Support Officer (SCSO) Following a visit by the RAF Careers to my school in 1983, I realised that the thought of living life in a rural part of Lincolnshire was certainly not for me. The RAF offered me the opportunity to travel, play sport and undertake an interesting and well-paid job. In February 1984 I left my home comforts at the tender age of 17 and a half, travelled by train to Lincoln and so began my journey in the Armed Forces. My Father, having undertaken National Service, advised me that I would clearly struggle with the discipline and being sometimes outspoken believed the military was not the right career for me; oh to prove him wrong! Following Recruit Training at RAF Swinderby, and Phase 2 Training at RAF Halton,.I proceeded to RAF Church Fenton in July Subsequent tours at RAF Biggin Hill, Swinderby, Rheindahlen, Boulmer, Halton and Keogh Barracks, saw me, in 1998, posted back to Lyneham on Tac Med Wing as a Sgt before being promoted to FS in 2000, remaining on Tac Med Wing. In 2002 I moved to RAF High Wycombe as the FS in the Aeromedical Evacuation Control Centre and, in January 2005, I moved to RAF Benson as the Warrant Officer in the Medical Centre. It was in 2008 when the role of SCSO was advertised and on reading the job description believed that my previous work and life experience would greatly assist me. I have now been the SCSO for 9 years at RAF Brize Norton; my key role is to be involved with all aspects of Service Families Accommodation, specifically welfare applications, additional need adaptations, retentions, complaints, and on-going maintenance issues. I act as the interface between the Landlord (DIO) and contractor provider (CarillionAmey) and the customer. As my role has developed over the years, I have become more involved in the welfare needs of the unit, supporting Service Personnel and their families by subsequently signposting them to local and unit welfare agencies to obtain the necessary assistance. A hugely rewarding job, which I remain committed to and intend to remain in for the foreseeable future. Sqn Ldr Peter Biggs (Rtd) RAF Brize - Norton 1969, 1985, , 2014-Present My first experience of Brize Norton was in 1969 as a SAC when we were detached from RAF Lyneham to assist with a manning problem on the Air Movs Squadron (AMS). The Belfast (53 Squadron) and VC10 (10 Squadron) were new on the block. Loading the Belfast was no joke because its payload side guidance was rarely fitted; loads regularly had to be walked on and it often took 6 hours of slave labour to complete the task. The Belfast, however, gave us the first strategic lift capability for large items of cargo; for example 1 x Sea King or 2 x Wessex helicopters. This capability was lost in 1976 when they were withdrawn as part of the defence review that year. In the meantime, the Britannias had moved to Brize but they fell under the same sword stroke as the Belfasts. Following tours in Gan, Lyneham, Gutersloh, Lyneham, MOD London and Lyneham I arrived back at Brize in 1985 as a Sgt Instructor on the Movements School. Things had changed post the Falklands War and we were operating BA 747s and then ex- BA Tristars down south and on other trooping tasks. The VC10s were still undertaking regular schedules to Washington and exercise tasking. It was during this period that the waterfront was expanded to accommodate wide-body movements but the passenger terminal was still configured for Britannia and VC10 passenger loads; this caused many handling issues. I left for Marham in Dec 1985 and returned in 1991 as a Flt Lt, following commissioning, as 2 i/c 4624 Squadron at a time when regular officers were in command. Post Gulf War infrastructure changes were required and in 1993 I was posted to the AMS as Cargo Officer to oversee the construction of the Automated Pallet Handling System (APHSS) to improve output during TTW. Unfortunately the system lacked an IT management tool and, to this day, lacks the flexibility of civilian equivalents. During this period I remarried and settled in the area with Annie and at this time the expansion of Carterton took place, changing from the 60s style lash up town-centre to the well served shopping area now in existence. The population also expanded exponentially with the new housing estates. 65

66 Following 3 years as OC Cargo I was posted to the Movements School as the Trade Development Officer the subsequently as a Trials Officer at JATE (now JADTEU). The TriStar and VC10 still remained as our strategic lift capability but were restricted to palletised cargo and we had to rely on the Hercules to provide outsize cargo capability. I spent 2 years squeezing various equipment into an aircraft not designed for the extra capacity. By this time the oversize capability was being taken up initially by chartered Belfasts (yes the same aircraft made redundant in 1976) and increasingly the Antonov AN124 and I was involved in early trials carrying Helicopters and armoured vehicles. This capability gap had been recognized and the lease of 3 C17s (initially) changed our capability beyond all measure. I was promoted to Squadron Ldr in 2000 and posted as a staff officer to HQ Strike Command but still lived at Brize. I was then heavily involved in the introduction of the C17 and Voyager and attended the first meetings of the A400M introduction. Given this background, my final posting was back as OC Air Portability at JATEU (name change again). The change in aircraft capability produced a massive workload at the same time as Gulf War 2 and Afghanistan ramped up. To sum up, Brize Norton has changed from its 1960s white fleet imperial past to a modern day total transport force with a much enhanced capability. The move of the C130 from Lyneham and the introduction of the Voyager and A400M has changed the airfield landscape, especially the giant hangars, and we now have transport aircraft which make the Movements Job more satisfying and vastly more capable. I enjoyed my time at Brize and now reside at JADTEU (name change again) as a C2 trials and publications officer following 7 years in civilian industry. Finally, I must mention my wife Annie who has been a check in hostess at the AMS for 14 years and is a familiar face (and much prettier) to thousands of regular passengers and staff here at Brize. CT Alex Bilverstone Engineering Wing Base Hangar dominating the skyline, the roar of the mighty VC10 taking off and Tristars lined up on the waterfront. This was Brize Norton for me in The Arena Sports Bar was the place to go for live music and Base Hangar the best kept secret in the Air Force. Two Squadrons of VC10s churning through Base Hangar for Minor and Minor* servicing s kept us busy and FS Pete Dory kept us all in line. Allegiances swapped between the Beehive, the Aviator (or Eagle as it was also known) and the Osprey and the walk home to the back gate was a long one. Little did I know that after leaving in 2001 I would find myself back in 2007 once again working on the mighty VC10. Brize Norton today is a mix of the old and the new. Gone are the VC10s and TriStars scattered across the pan, but instead Hercules, Voyagers, A400Ms and C17s fight for pan and hangar space. Shiny new hangars and offices nestle amongst the old brick buildings. Antiquated barrack blocks have been replaced by new en-suite slam blocks, squeezed in and around original Messes. Now home to the entire AAR and AT fleet, with over 5,000 military and civilian personnel, it has become the largest station in the RAF, still drawing people back again and again. Cpl James Walsh Engineering Wing I first arrived at RAF Brize Norton on 09th January 2004 to be employed within the Explosives Storage Area (ESA). There was a total of 17 Armourers within the ESA, most of whom were JTs. I was a fresh faced young LAC looking to impress the other Armourers; needless to say I was educated extremely quickly by the JTs! At my time of arrival the airfield was full of VC10s, Tristars and four C-17s. The ESA was made up of old crumbling buildings housing small amounts of explosives with a limited amount of transient explosives for Op Telic. The work was steady and never rushed with plenty of time for Staff Rides and Sport. The Unit itself was a fair size however it lacked modern buildings. I lived in an ageing Barrack Block with barely enough room for a bed and television. However due to a lack of single accommodation I volunteered to move in to an old married quarter on Devon Place which I shared with two other Armourers. As the years progressed and OP HERRICK began, the ESA got gradually busier with a significantly increased amount of transient explosives being held. It soon became apparent that the ESA needed better infrastructure to house the increased stores and a number of purpose-built buildings were constructed within the ESA and the old crumbling buildings demolished. This also coincided with a much needed increase in manpower to process the increased workload. Across the unit, things were also changing; Barrack Blocks were getting knocked down and replaced with modern SLAM Blocks. In light of RAF Lyneham closing and the Hercules Fleet moving to RAF Brize Norton, even more construction work took place including Hangars near JADTEU and for 47AD Squadron. I was posted to RAF Marham on promotion however returned to RAF Brize Norton in The change in the Unit was massive; significantly more personnel, more infrastructure and news that the A400M would be arriving imminently. This resulted in the A400M School being constructed on the very spot where I used to live! Now, the ESA is busier than ever; there are 42 Armourers and large amounts of Explosives both held and transiting through with us constantly on the go. Even now we are looking to improve the ESA with more buildings so who knows how it will look 5 years from now! Mr Tuna Futtu, Facilities Manager I arrived at RAF Brize Norton on 11 Jun 2001 to be EO Capital Works Project. I was so impressed with the sheer size of the Unit when I arrived, so much so, I recall getting lost and was late for my interview even though there were fewer buildings and cars 15 years ago! A lot has changed over the years, people and departments. It was a very friendly, jolly place to work, and everyone 66

67 was happy to help and, of course, ready for a bit of fun when the occasion arrived. We used to have BBQs even in the winter and a lot of team-building activities so you got to know everyone really well. Later on people were replaced by Android, AI applications and remote access platforms due to the advancement of information technologies. Although the Station is still much of a paternal place, especially noted by moving RAF Lyneham into Brize, it remained home from home for the air transport fleets. The big expansion of joining the units in a very short period of time made it a challenge to get to know everyone like we did before. It is still as friendly a place now and the additional bars and social activities allow a greater mix of people to get together and exchange stories! As we move forwards the current financial climate has its associated challenges and restraints. The saying work hard and play hard when you can really comes to mind now. Steve Lympany, Ground Photographic Section Having worked in the Photo Section for three years as a serviceman it was a strange experience walking in the door of the Photographic Section on the first day working for Serco, in civvies. In those days, we wore our own clothes; it was fifteen years before we were given a Serco uniform to wear. The first person through the door on that day was a Squadron Leader who popped his head around the door and shouted: All the best for the new contract and closed the door behind him. The second day as civvies we had a phone call enquiring why we weren t at the celebratory beer and curry night held in Serco HQ - no one had told us! In those days, we had the VC10 and Tristars; it would be four years before the first C-17 arrived and another thirteen years before the Hercules fleet moved over to Brize. As the Station photographer, the work load has increased massively since 1997, with the arrival of the C130 fleet and other Lyneham assets in 2011 making a marked difference. Personnel have changed with John leaving and Paul and Sharron both coming in, but the work is still as varied as it could be. Identity photography plays a major part of the workload. The Section pulled out all the stops to do many thousands of photographs for Indian, Chinese and Japanese visas last August and September for personnel heading off on several exercises in the far east. Engineering photography, usually at very short notice, of broken aircraft, GSE and Atlas loaders and visits from the local WI to royalty provide a regular source of work. There are also major media events with the Prime Minister of the day choosing RAF Brize Norton to hold talks with the French and Polish leaders. Brize Norton has been at the forefront of aid missions around the world with aircraft going to Chile, Philippines, Vanuatu, Sinjar and Nepal (to name a few), all of which were photographed by the section. Terry Waite was debriefed at Brize after his release and he subsequently opened the Families Day, again captured by Brize photographers. Over the years the faces come and go, with Corporals becoming Warrant Officers and Flight Lieutenants climbing to become Air Commodores. The changes have been enormous, with Air Tanker and the Voyager fleet coming to the Station, the Lyneham assets moving in 2011 and then latterly the A400M s arrival. New buildings have shot up and a married quarter patch, where I once lived, flattened, but the Station continues delivering to the defence community, taking it all in her stride. Dave Pengelly Logs Squadron & HIOS LM 2011 to present Having spent eight enjoyable years at RAF Brize Norton on Logs Squadron, I concluded my service in May of Little did I know at the time that I would be returning in 2011 as a civilian contractor with Lockheed Martin, supporting the Hercules fleet with the Hercules Integrated operational Support programme (HIOS). Much had changed since I had left. New Officers MQ near the main gate, Officers MQ adjacent to the sports pitches, a new hangar and office complex opposite Base Hangar and multi-storeyed barrack blocks everywhere. Once the domain of the blue suiter, contractors seemed more prevalent. Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Boeing, Air Tanker to name but a few, all on the base to support their new respective aircraft or contracts. Whilst the airfield was still dominated by the VC10, Tristar and C-17, now the newly arrived Hercules could be seen dotted around along with the new Voyager and the occasional visiting A400M. A sign of things to come. We were housed in Hangar 88 on the south side of the airfield adjacent to ATC. The old hangar was previously a VC10 domain and prone to flooding but it had been refurbished. Mobile electronic racking, new mezzanine offices and a new customer support centre Forward Stores in old money! We soon settled into our new environment and the C130 gradually made its mark on the Station amongst the shiny fleet. Our position next to the runway allowed us a ringside seat for the eventual final and poignant flypasts of the VC10, Tristar and K model Hercules as they flew out of the Station for the final time. It s time for the new and not- so-new incumbents, C-17, Voyager, C130J and Atlas to take the Station into a new era. It s good to be part of it and good to be back. 67

68 Cadet Warrant Officer Rosie Herridge 2267 Squadron Air Training Corps Cadet Warrant Officer Rosie Herridge: I have been in the Air Training Corps for 6 years and in this time I have achieved the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer. Throughout my years, I have been given incredible opportunities. Two of my highlights have been representing my Squadron as the Brize Norton Station Commanders Cadet and representing my Wing in road-marching. I have recently completed RAFWARMA at RAF Cosford and I am also in training to complete the Vierdaagse Nijmegen March in July. Cadet Flight Sergeant Stan Sparling 2267 Squadron Air Training Corps Cadet Flight Sergeant Stan Sparling: I have been a cadet for four and half years and I have achieved the rank of Flight Sergeant. My ultimate ambition is to become an RAF Multi-Engine pilot and joining the cadets has so far given me many opportunities to pursue this career aspiration. Through cadets I have flown in the Tutor trainer and made two flights on the Voyager, (including the Queen s Birthday flypast) and a flight on a C-17. From being on the base, my passion for aviation has grown through gaining an insight into life on the largest RAF station, this will continue to motivate me through my application toward an RAF career. 68

69 Antonov 225 Vulcan Concorde test flight after Paris Tragedy BRIZE AIRCRAFT XV806 in 1997 A collection of aircraft pictures of Brize Norton based aircraft or aircraft that have operated from Brize Norton. Brize 1995

70 Brize Aircraft with the Red Arrows 70

71 Brize Aircraft on The Queen s Birthday Flypast over Buckingham Palace.

72 Tail Art Tail art has always been an important feature for RAF squadrons during the years, and this section captures the variety of tail art seen on Brize Norton aircraft.

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74 Brize Art There is a wealth of Station history captured in the art collections across the Station and at other locations. The pictures below are just a small sample. Horsa Gliders in 1944 (Officers Mess) Whitley Bomber/Tug 1943 (Officers Mess) Short Belfast (Officers Mess) Brize Aircraft of the 80s (Officers Mess) Tristar (Air Terminal)

75 Britannia (Officers Mess) Britannia (WO and Sgt s Mess) VC10s (Officers Mess) 75

76 Tristar Granby Offload (Officers Mess) Global Support (Air Terminal) VC10 (WO and Sgt s Mess) Tristar over the Falklands (Officers Mess) VC10s (Officers Mess) Tristar and Harrier (Officers Mess) C17 Interior (Officers Mess)

77 Tristar & VC10 AAR (WO and Sgt s Mess) C130K AAR (Officers Mess) C130Ks over the Severn Bridge C17 (Officers Mess) 77 C130K (Officers Mess)

78 Freedom of Exeter BRIZE CEREMONIAL The following pictures give a flavour of the many ceremonial and high profile events that Brize Norton personnel are involved with Squadron Freedom of Oxford

79 Freedom of Carterton 30 Squadron Centenary 10 Squadron Centenary 79

80 101 Squadron Reform 47 Squadron Centenary

81 101 Squadron Disband 101 Squadron Centenary Visit of French President Chancellor Merkel

82 HAC opening 47 AD Squadron building Polish Prime Minister HRH Prince Harry back from Afghanistan

83 2016 BRIZE PEOPLE The following pictures show Brize People at events held over the last 12 months. 47 Squadron v 99 Squadron Rugby

84 2016 Officers verses SNCOs Football BRAVOS 2016 BRAVOS 2016

85 2016 Officers verses SNCOs Football Brizefest 2016

86 ANNEXES STATION COMMANDERS OF RAF BRIZE NORTON Sep 1937 Gp Capt FL Robinson DSO, MC, DFC May 1939 Gp Capt CR Carr DFC, AFC Aug 1939 Gp Capt S Smith DSO, AFC Jan 1940 Gp Capt E B Rice May 1941 Gp Capt RH Kershaw Mar 1943 Gp Capt JEM MacCullum Oct 1943 Gp Capt CA Horn OBE Apr 1944 Gp Capt TM Abraham DFC Sep 1944 Gp Capt CA Horn OBE Jun 1945 Gp Capt FG Argyle-Robinson Dec 1945 Gp Capt DJ Alvey OBE Oct 1947 Gp Capt JM Cohu CBE Jul 1949 Gp Capt DWF Bonham-Carter DFC Jan 1951-Feb 1965 USAF BASE Mar 1965 Gp Capt RG Wilson DFC, AFC Jan 1968 Gp Capt DL Attlee MVO Jan 1970 Gp Capt TL Kennedy AFC Apr 1971 Gp Capt J Richardson MBE AFC Jun 1974 Gp Capt PA Ward Nov 1975 Gp Capt RD Bates AFC Jun 1978 Gp Capt WH Croydon OBE Nov 1980 Gp Capt P Walker Dec 1982 Gp Capt CE Gould MCIT Dec 1984 Gp Capt PG Beer LVO, OBE Dec 1986 Gp Capt CP Lumb OBE Dec 1988 Gp Capt DA Hurrell AFC Dec 1990 Gp Capt KD Filbey Dec 1992 Gp Capt PJ Poulton AFC Dec 1994 Gp Capt AJ Kearney Oct 1996 Gp Capt DC Vass MBE Nov 1998 Gp Capt PR Ollis Nov 2000 Gp Capt NR Jagger Nov 2002 Gp Capt J Lamonte MA, BSc, CMath, FIMA, FRAes, FRIN, CDipAF, MCMI Nov 2004 Gp Capt RI Elliot OBE, ADC, BSc, FRIN Aug 2006 Gp Capt MAB Brecht OBE, ADC, MA, FRAes Jul 2008 Gp Capt JN Ager MA Jul 2010 Gp Capt DA Stamp ADC, MA Jun 2012 Gp Capt SF Lushington ADC, MA Jul 2014 Gp Capt SS Edwards MA Jul 2016 Gp Capt T Jones BSc (Hons) MA GROUP CAPTAIN SUPPORT Oct 2012 Gp Capt EJ Cole MBE, MA Oct 2014 Gp Capt SN Perkins MA, MCMI Jul 2016 Gp Capt DJ Tozer MA, BEng (Hons), CEng, MIET SQUADRONS AND UNITS THAT HAVE SERVED AT BRIZE NORTON Pre-World War 2 No 2 Flying Training School (to become No 2 Service Flying Training School (1939)) No 6 Maintenance Unit World War 2 Heavy Glider Operational Unit (to become No 21 Heavy Glider Operational Unit (Oct 1944)) 296 Squadron 297 Squadron Post World War Transport Command Development Unit Central Flying School (Examination Wing) 204 Advanced Flying School USAF ( ) 3RD Air Division 7503RD Base Complement Squadron (to become 7503rd Air Base Group (Jul 1950)) 7508th Air Base Squadron 801ST Engineer Aviation Battalion 803rd Engineer Aviation Battalion 6th Chemical Smoke Generator Battalion 11th Bomb Wing 1ST Provisional Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion 3920th Air Base Group 4th AFDS/7553rd SDS (Special Weapons Handling Units) (Flying Squadrons rotated through as TDY) RAF - Post Squadron 10 Squadron Belfast Servicing Flight 99 Squadron 511 Squadron 241 Operational Conversion Unit (until Oct 93 when it became 55 (R) Squadron) Joint Air Transport Establishment (Now JATEAU) No 1 Parachute Training School Tactical Communications Wing (No 90 SU) RAF Movements School (Now Defence Movements School) 115 Squadron 2624 Squadron RAuxAF (re-numbered 501 Squadron in 2001 and back to 2624 Squadron in 2013) 4624 Squadron RAuxAF 101 Squadron BAe 146 Evaluation Unit 216 Squadron 19 Squadron RAF Regt 55 (R) Squadron 501 Squadron RAuxAF (re-numbered from 2624 Squadron in 2001) 24 Squadron 30 Squadron 47 Squadron 70 Squadron No1 Air Mobility Wing Tactical Medical Wing 4626 Squadron RAuxAF 47 Air Despatch Squadron 622 Squadron RAuxAF HQ No 4 Force Protection Wing 86

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88 DETER DEFEND DEFEAT ASSIST