Royal Air Force personnel deployed to 901 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) C Flight in Bahrain work together to deliver Light Transport Aircraft (LTA) and Command Support Air Transport (CSAT).
A small deployment of tri-service personnel, located at Bahrain International Airport, make up ‘C’ Flight 901 EAW and 32 (The Royal) Squadron. Between them, they work together transporting military personnel and VIPs throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan.
The detachment’s HS125 and BAe146 aircraft are supported by a broad spread of RAF branches and trades. Due to its unique formation, when the aircraft arrive, everyone pulls together to deliver the most efficient turnaround of LTA and CSAT tasking.
The Chief Clerk, Flight Sergeant Brian Benn, (47), works with Senior Aircraftman Jonathan Egerton, (22), to form the administration cell. Their time is mostly taken up with cashiering, accommodation management and operationally locating personnel passing through 901 EAW.
Flight Sergeant Benn commented: “Until last week, it was just myself running the show. The uplift of an additional clerk, allows for a lot more scope in the role. We are solely responsible for the administration of the entire 901 EAW C Flt and 32 (The Royal) Squadron personnel.”
The Chief Engineer, Flight Sergeant Kev Goodwin, (49), heads up a team of nine Sponsored Reservists at Muharraq and a further four working at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. They deploy from RAF Northolt for two months every six and work around the clock providing engineering support to CSAT.
Sergeant Doug Preston, (44), an avionics technician stated: “Our job out here is quite unique within the Military. Back home at Northolt we work for Serco on the same airframes. Out here we are fully embedded within the detachment and work around the clock in support of the CSAT aircraft.”
Flight Operations lies at the heart of the detachment. Focused on the complex planning requirements needed to enable strategic air transport, understanding of the diverse military and civilian air operating environments is required to ensure key engagement activity. Sergeant Helen Baylie, (36),a Flight Operations Manager from Brize Norton, is the lead CSAT tasking SNCO for Middle East operations and with the support of her team ensures that all flights are prepared to meet their task.
Helen states: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my detachment here. Every day is different as we prepare to deploy our aircraft to any airfield within the operating area at any time, day or night. Working in such a small team is challenging yet really rewarding. Each member of the team quickly understands the role we all play directly supports international high level government and military activity and everyday our efforts help make that happen.”
Editor: Flt Lt Peakman
Photographs: Cpl Robinson
Members of ‘C’ Flight, 901 EAW.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2013