Tag Archives: RAF


RAF Hercules enables Royal Marines deployment to Turk & Caicos Islands following hurricanes

Royal Air Force Hercules enables Royal Marines deployment to Turk & Caicos Islands following devastating hurricanes

ON 11 SEPTEMBER a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport aircraft delivered a team of Royal Marines and medics to the Turks & Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory that has been stricken by Hurricanes Irma and Jose. The C-130J was the first military aircraft to arrive in the Turks & Caicos Islands; it joins a fleet of RAF transport aircraft and nearly 700 military and specialist civilian personnel supporting the Department for International Aid (DfID) with the delivery of humanitarian aid and disaster relief to British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.


Since 8 September the Royal Air Force has flown more than 20 sorties within the Caribbean, moving more than 700 passengers into and around the region and delivering more than 70 tonnes of freight to hurricane-stricken communities. This has included:

· More than 20 Royal Marines from C Company, 40 Commando, who have deployed to support Her Majesty’s Governor of the Turks & Caicos Islands.

· More than 200 Royal Marines from 40 Commando and 3 Commando Brigade, who are supporting DfID’s urgent humanitarian work in the British Virgin Islands.

· Sixteen officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, who are supporting the British Virgin Islands with policing.

· More than 50 officers from the UK’s International Police Response Cadre, who will be sworn in as British Virgin Island police officers to support the territory with community and public order policing.

· Water filtration equipment and search and rescue kits for UK NGOs Serve On and Team Rubicon.


Royal Air Force aircraft operating in the Caribbean are managed by 38 Expeditionary Air Wing (38 EAW), based at a logistics hub in Barbados. The EAW is supported by elements of the RAF’s Air Mobility fleet comprising C-17 strategic lift aircraft, A400M Atlas and C-130J Hercules transport aircraft and Voyager passenger aircraft. More than 90 regular and reserve RAF personnel are assigned to 38 EAW, including logisticians, RAF Police, administrative staff, engineers and operations personnel, principally from RAF Brize Norton and RAF Northolt.


The Commanding Officer of 38 EAW, Wing Commander Gareth Burdett, said:

“The arrival of the C-130J provides us with an incredibly flexible asset, able to deploy freight and passengers into some extremely challenging environments to help our Overseas Territories get back on their feet. The pace of work here in the Caribbean is relentless, but we all know that people across the region are depending upon us. We’re working closely with our colleagues in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and DfID to make sure UK Aid makes a difference whenever and wherever it is needed.”

© MOD Crown Copyright 2017

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RAF Typhoons arrive in Estonia

RAF Typhoons arrive in Estonia

The Minister for Armed Forces announces Royal Air Force Typhoons will be conducting a training mission in Estonia.

The Minister for Armed Forces Mark Lancaster TD MP has met the first two Typhoon Fighters from 3 (Fighter) Squadron Royal Air Force to deploy to Estonia to conduct this training mission.

The Typhoon jets arrived to conduct Air Land integration training with the British Army Battlegroup currently deployed in Estonia as part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Operation.

Watch the video HERE

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RAF Photographic Competition 2017: “People’s Choice” public

RAF Photographic Competition 2017: “People’s Choice” public vote opens today

The annual public vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ RAF image of the year opens at 17:00BST today. Members of the public can choose one of nine contenders through a dedicated website.


Images of the Chinook Helicopter, the Red Arrows, and the Falcons are among the nine images selected by expert judges from over 800 that were submitted by RAF personnel, including both professional RAF photographers and amateurs.

The nine images being put to the public were chosen by Marc O’Neill, Night Photographer and Light Painter from Digital Noise Photography; the Co-Creative Director and owner of Studio MM, Madeline Penny, and former Picture Editor for Barcroft Media, Morgan Coates who currently works for LBC News London.


Judge Mark O’Neill said: “Judging this year’s instalment of the RAF’s prestigious photography competition was no easy task. The submitted photographs are of an exemplary standard and cover a broad range of briefs, subjects and photographic disciplines; from front-line action, to heart-warming portraits.

This wide variety goes some way towards revealing just how challenging and diverse a role that the RAF’s Photographers are faced with and how well they execute it. I must, on behalf of the panel of judges, offer my congratulations to all involved in the competition and now eagerly await the results of the People’s Choice category.”


The public can vote by visiting http://www.raf.mod.uk/photo-of-the-year-2017, or from next week, by visiting the RAF Museum at Hendon, London and the RAF Museum at Cosford, Shropshire. Voting closes at 23:59 on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, with the awards announced at a ceremony on Thursday, 21 September 2017.


12 other categories were featured in the 2017 RAF photo competition. Winners for these categories were selected by the judges. The finalists are all available via the RAF photo competition website:

· The Judge’s choice RAF image of the year

· Photographic section (professional photographers only)

· Technical/Engineering (professional photographers only)

· RAF Operations & Exercises (professional photographers only)

· Current RAF equipment (professional photographers only)

· Sports (professional photographers only)

· Personnel (professional photographers only)

· Open video (open to all personnel)

· Open image (open to all personnel)

· The Mallett Student Trophy (RAF basic training students at the Defence School of Photography only)

· Amateur military (non-professional photographers only)

· RAF Photographer of the year

© MOD Crown Copyright 2017

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RAF Typhoons hand over NATO Romania duties to Canada

RAF Typhoons hand over NATO Romania duties to Canada

FOUR ROYAL Air Force Typhoon FGR4 fighter aircraft departed Romania on 28 August, ending the UK’s five-month leadership of NATO’s enhanced air policing mission in the country. Since April the Typhoons – from 3(F) Squadron, RAF Coningsby – had spent alternate weeks on high-readiness standby to defend NATO’s airspace over the Black Sea, augmenting the Romanian Air Force’s existing air defence capability. The Royal Canadian Air Force is now preparing to assume responsibility for the NATO mission, while two of the RAF’s Typhoons proceed to Estonia to join NATO training with the British Army.


The Typhoons deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, near the Black Sea port of Constanta, as part of the RAF’s 135 Expeditionary Air Wing under the code-name Operation BILOXI. More than 300 regular and reserve RAF personnel from 16 RAF units – supported by Royal Engineers soldiers – were involved in the mission. Typhoons launched once in response to Russian air activity over the Black Sea, and flew more than 280 sorties to support NATO training with Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian armed forces. Towards the end of 135 EAW’s tour of duty, eight of its personnel were awarded the Romanian Air Force’s highest peacetime honour for their work in the country.


135 EAW’s Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Andy Coe, said: “As we hand over NATO duties to our colleagues in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the men and women of 135 EAW can be proud of what we have achieved. In our five months here, we were ambassadors for the RAF Whole Force, and for a truly global Britain. We learned much from our Romanian friends, even as we passed on our experience to them and to our other allies in the region. It’s been a privilege to lead a team who have embraced NATO’s principles with complete enthusiasm and dedication.”

The RCAF’s Air Task Force Romania, comprising 135 specialists from across the Canadian Armed Forces, is preparing for a vital NATO certification on 31 August – the final stage in its preparation to lead the enhanced air policing mission. Four RCAF CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron arrived in Romania on 20 August, and will be patrolling the skies shortly after the NATO certification.


Air Task Force Romania Commander Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hickey said: “As we bid farewell to our British friends, my entire team’s focus is now on supporting Canada’s allies here in Romania and across the wider region. Canada will always stand up for the freedom and collective security of our NATO allies; that’s why we are happy to assume leadership of this important mission. My team will make Romania and Canada proud.”

© MOD Crown Copyright 2017

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The BBMF's Merlin Engines

Following the recent pause in flying our Merlin-powered aircraft for safety reasons, OC BBMF said: “Please see below the MOD’s latest release on the subject of BBMF Merlin engines. As I hope you all know, my aim is to keep these vital and unique artefacts of Britain’s proud history in the sky forever. To do that we sometimes have to take extra precautions, with our eye sharply on continuing safety, to ensure that we can keep them flying for future generations. I thank each and every one of you who has voiced their support and shown their understanding. We will get them back into the blue as soon we can.

Lest We Forget.”

The update from the MOD:

“Our investigation has confirmed an issue with a pinion gear in a Merlin engine. With the precise cause of the problem known, each pinion gear is now being inspected to confirm it meets our exacting standards, with the BBMF and industry putting all of our efforts into getting these beautiful aircraft safely back in the air as soon as possible.”

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