RAF Coningsby Support Exercise Red Flag

29 March 2016

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Information and Communication Technology Technicians from RAF Coningsby Support Exercise Red Flag

Personnel from RAF Coningsby deployed on Exercise Red Flag, held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Red Flag gives RAF Typhoon pilots an opportunity to train with the USAF, flying against complex air defence systems and integrated tactical radars and sensors.

SAC(T) Kellie Chapman preparing ESS, prior to deploying on Ex Red FlagInformation Systems that feed information to and from the aircraft deliver Typhoon’s full operational capability. These systems manage maintenance activity and bring aircraft engineering into the information age. Information Technology is also essential to aircrew mission planning, aircraft configuration and post mission debriefs. These systems are maintained by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Technicians (Trade Group 4) from Ground Support Systems (GSS) Flight at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth.

Serving with GSS Flt at RAF Coningsby for 5 years now, SAC(T) Kellie Chapman said of her role delivering this capability that it 'has given me lots of opportunities to travel the world, from Asia and the Middle East to the USA, where I am currently on deployment on Ex Red Flag.'

In order to support the Typhoon aircraft flying away from their UK base, a team of 5 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Technician from Trade Group 4 deployed with the aircraft to Nevada. It is this small team of technicians that set up, service, maintain and recover the deployable systems that allow the aircraft to fly operationally.

Leading this team was Sgt Jason Smith, who said 'Working within GSS gives Trade Group 4 personnel the prospect to directly support Typhoon on Operations. If you want something a little different there are also opportunities to be part of the Typhoon Display Team. The requirement to manage the needs of the Squadron’s Flying Program and the engineering team, tempered with our need to ensure Typhoon systems are running at their best and kept up to date is a great challenge and extremely rewarding.'

Flt Lt Norton, OC GSS Flt said “The support that personnel from GSS Flight provide to the Typhoon engineers and aircrew, in the UK or abroad, is critical to the aircraft’s Operational success. The ability to set up and maintain a highly technical and bespoke IT system, in a deployed environment, is a credit to their technical abilities and professionalism.”

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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