UK — Dambusters prepare for Afghanistan deployment

Air­crew and engi­neers from the RAF’s 617 (Dam­busters) Squadron (617 Sqn) have been test­ed to the lim­it in a sim­u­lat­ed ‘war week’ in order to pre­pare them for their next front line deploy­ment to Afghanistan.

An RAF Tor­na­do of 617 Squadron [Pic­ture: Senior Air­craft­man Lau­ren Gal­loway and SAC Gar­ry Perkins, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The week con­sists of a series of bespoke exer­cis­es which form the pre-deploy­ment train­ing for 617 Sqn before they deploy to Kan­da­har to replace fel­low RAF Lossiemouth unit 12 (Bomber) Squadron next month. 

It will be the Dam­busters’ sec­ond deploy­ment to Afghanistan and they returned from their first tour last July. But, even though around 70 of the 100 per­son­nel in the unit are vet­er­ans, every­one needs remind­ing of the dan­gers they may face, which is where the train­ing comes in. 

The war week is planned and facil­i­tat­ed by the Joint Force Air Com­po­nent (JFAC) from Air Com­mand and involves 617 Sqn’s air­crew and engi­neers being trained and test­ed in a series of real­is­tic sce­nar­ios, includ­ing indi­rect fire attacks, first aid emer­gen­cies and engi­neer­ing acci­dents amongst many others. 

Although the train­ing is tar­get­ed at 617 Sqn per­son­nel, a num­ber of oth­er exter­nal agen­cies were also involved — such as com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ists 591 Sig­nals Unit, legal advis­ers, Trau­ma Risk Man­age­ment per­son­nel, and a Tac­ti­cal Air Con­trol Par­ty — to repli­cate and reflect the col­lab­o­ra­tive nature of the oper­a­tional environment. 

“We deploy next month; we are up for it, we are trained for it, and we are very much look­ing for­ward to it.”
Wing Com­man­der Kei­th Taylor

Offi­cer Com­mand­ing 617 Sqn, Wing Com­man­der Kei­th Tay­lor, said: 

“War week is a fan­tas­tic train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for us; the range of events planned by the JFAC team here are excel­lent. We deploy next month; we are up for it, we are trained for it, and we are very much look­ing for­ward to it.” 

In addi­tion to the chal­lenge of main­tain­ing the reg­u­lar fly­ing pro­gramme dur­ing the week, RAF Lossiemouth also host­ed two visits. 

Air Offi­cer Com­mand­ing Num­ber 1 Group, Air Vice-Mar­shal Stu­art Atha, met with 617 Sqn engi­neers and air­crew, and spoke with JFAC train­ing per­son­nel about the imple­men­ta­tion of the war week pro­gramme. He said: 

“This is the best and most real­is­tic train­ing that we can give our per­son­nel as they pre­pare to deploy. It is about air­crew and ground crew work­ing togeth­er as a team to pro­tect them­selves against ever-present threats in theatre. 

“The rea­son why this train­ing is so good is that it specif­i­cal­ly reflects the real­i­ties — espe­cial­ly the poten­tial threats — of the oper­a­tional envi­ron­ment they are about to deploy into.” 

On the same day, two MPs from the Armed Forces Par­lia­men­tary Scheme — a sys­tem designed to devel­op politi­cians’ under­stand­ing of UK mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ty — vis­it­ed to watch the train­ing take place. 

Both Adam Hol­loway and Robert Flel­lo got involved in the train­ing and assist­ed with the first aid response to a road traf­fic acci­dent scenario. 

Mr Flel­lo, who is the Shad­ow Min­is­ter for Jus­tice, said: 

“All of this train­ing is phe­nom­e­nal­ly impor­tant. It’s cer­tain­ly helped empha­sise the real­i­ties of the oper­a­tional envi­ron­ment. I have great admi­ra­tion for every­one involved.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →