RAF flies into action for training exercise at Shawbury
It looks like RAF personnel are responding to a major incident. But in fact these images show a training exercise taking place at RAF Shawbury to deliver fuel to aircraft.
The highly specialised unit within the Joint Helicopter Command, the Royal Air Force Tactical Supply Wing based at MoD Stafford held the exercise as part of its mandate to deliver fuel to UK Armed Forces aircraft throughout the world.
Its role involves providing aviation fuel support to deployed battlefield helicopters, work which is often in austere locations and very harsh conditions.
TSW consists of personnel drawn from nine specialist trades, including suppliers, drivers, engineer technicians, administrators, gunners and movement specialists. It was joined at the exercise by aircrew on Sixty (Reserve) Squadron at the Defence Helicopter Flying School, which is based at the Shropshire base.
Students from TSW train at RAF Shawbury five times a year and the demanding exercise is the final stage of their training – and the first time that they have refuelled a live aircraft with rotors turning.
Successful completion of the task means that they will soon be posted to their operational unit and they could be deployed anywhere in the world.
Sergeant Sid Mulholland, the TSW Training Sergeant, said: "Our relationship with the Defence Helicopter Flying School, at RAF Shawbury, is very important as it enables us to deliver realistic training to our students and ensures that they are ready to meet the challenges that they will face on their operational units."