The Royal Air Force Mountaineering Association (RAFMA) has launched an expedition to the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal as part of the RAF 100 celebrations. The expedition is called Exercise Himalayan Venture 18 (HV18) and will bring together 75 members of the wider RAF family in a pioneering expedition to the Rolwaling and Khumbu regions of the Nepalese Himalayan range.
Launching the expedition, the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, who is the expedition’s patron, said a few words.
“The RAF at 100 is an enormously important milestone for us and the nation, with aims to Commemorate, Celebrate and Inspire and I very much feel that this expedition captures all three.”
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier
The Chief of the Air Staff
The expedition will bring together individuals with a variety of outdoor experience, ranging from the absolute novice to the experienced mountaineer. The expedition will set off in August 2018 and will spend three weeks in Nepal.
During the expedition, an alpine team will conduct exploratory mountaineering at Extreme High Altitude and four trekking teams will conduct remote and arduous trekking at Very High Altitude. The teams will also conduct medical and geographical research supported by the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. HV18 is also running a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme which includes workshops across the country and live STEM demonstrations throughout the expedition.
The expedition launch took place in the Memorial Courtyard at MoD Main Building and was attended by expedition members from all teams including RAF Regulars, RAF Reserves, University Air Squadron Cadets and RAF Air Cadets. They were joined by Sir Stephen and his wife Lady Hillier together with the RAF’s head of future programmes Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle and Chairman of the Ulysses Trust Air Vice-Marshall (Retired) Nicholas Kurth.
Also attending the launch were representatives of the expedition sponsors including the Royal British Legion, RAF Central Fund, Inmarsat, Mountain Equipment, DMM, Secure Cloud, RAF Engineering and RAF Charitable Trust.
“It’s been a real privilege to have been able to present the expedition to the Chief of the Air Staff and our sponsors. We now have 54 days until we go and I’m very much looking forward to getting to Nepal.”
Squadron Leader Peter McCreedy