Exercises

Swift Pirate: RAF Personnel Tested On Dangerous Environments Exercise

RAF personnel have been put through their paces on Exercise Swift Pirate.

RAF Brize Norton personnel have tested their capabilities in dangerous environments on the quarterly exercise, Swift Pirate, at RAF Wittering.

In Patrol Base Centurion hostile scenarios are simulated, giving teams a chance to test their response to potential attacks.

During the exercise, members of Number One Air Mobility Wing defended their small camp and pushed forward to patrol the area.

The team is usually based at RAF Brize Norton, loading and unloading aircraft – but could be asked to provide them with protection.

Flying Officer Alice Henderson, Flight Commander of No 1 Air Mobility Wing, welcomed the chance to come under faux-mortar fire: "I'm grabbing it by the horns, it's quite good for me to get out and see how the team work together.

"For me, there's loads to learn, loads to take in...it's a real challenge and a great way to start my movements career."

Number One Air Mobility Wing load the C130 on the runway, which is rarely used.

During the day, Forces News was able to speak to another new appointment - RAF Wittering Station Commander, Group Captain Jo Lincoln.

Asked how she felt when receiving her new role, she said: 

"I was ecstatic... How lucky am I to get my dream job?"

Group Captain Lincoln is also in command of the A4 Force, the logistics and engineering element within the RAF.

Asked if her appointment offers inspiration to females in the military community, she said:

"If I can inspire the next generation, that's what this is about...I like to think that gender isn't really a factor anymore - it never has been for me."

Watch: Group Captain Jo Lincoln 'ecstatic' about new role.

Lunch was provided by the field kitchen chefs, 3 Mobile Catering Squadron, who would head out with the movers in real operations.

This exercise provides regular, critical training to young chefs.

SAC Hannah Sambells says: "I can take a little step back and let them do it obviously builds their skills... they'll take a lot away from this."

The team quickly turned their attention away from testing their palates to loading a C-130 with wooden pallets.

They went one better, pressing a Land Rover inside the aircraft instead.

Wing Commander Nick Maxey, Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Wittering, welcomed the opportunity to make the most of the 9000-foot runway at RAF Wittering which can host "any aircraft in the RAF inventory."

He said: "We've got to generate value-for-money for our RAF stations, and that means that we are using them to the best of our ability."