RAF News

Human Security at Exercise Swift Pirate

An RAF C-17 Globemaster arrives at RAF Wittering.
An RAF C-17 Globemaster arrives at RAF Wittering.  No 1 Air Mobility Wing are specialised engineering and logistics squadrons that support RAF operations.

Human Security is the theme for Exercise Swift Pirate at RAF Wittering this week as No 1 Air Mobility Wing personnel train for humanitarian operations.

No 1 Air Mobility Wing specialises in passenger and cargo handling and the safe loading and unloading of military transport aircraft.  Although based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, it is part of the RAF A4 Force, which is has its headquarters at RAF Wittering.  During Exercise Swift Pirate, they puts its deployable personnel to the test and keeps those vital skills up to scratch.  

The team from No 1 Air Mobility Wing loading humanitarian cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster.
The team from No 1 Air Mobility Wing loading humanitarian cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster.

“Human Security is an important part of all UK military operations and simply put in the context of this Exercise, is taking into consideration the needs of the people we are trying to assist. For No 1 Air Mobility Wing personnel, it means making sure that the movers work closely with the other organisations like the FCDO to ensure that the humanitarian aid they deliver gets to the people who need it most.”

Squadron Leader Ingram
Deputy Commander, No 1 Air Mobility Wing

Squadron Leader Katherine Ingram, Deputy Commander of No 1 Air Mobility Wing.
Squadron Leader Ingram, Deputy Commander of No 1 Air Mobility Wing.

No 1 Air Mobility Wing is part of the A4 Force Elements; the specialised, high-readiness, engineering and logistics squadrons that support RAF operations and exercises at home and around the world.  The scenario for this exercise sees No 1 Air Mobility Wing personnel delivering humanitarian assistance to the victims of a catastrophic natural disaster.

The team from No 1 Air Mobility Wing loading humanitarian cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster.

Alex Franklin is a supply chain manager working on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.  He has been working with, and training, No 1 Air Mobility Wing personnel in how to deal with the real-world situations which might occur during humanitarian relief operations.  

“It was really easy working with the team from No 1 Air Mobility Wing, the conversations have been ongoing and it’s been fantastic from our perspective to work with the personnel that we co-operate with in real life scenarios.”

Alex Franklin
Supply Chain Manager, FCDO

A member of the FCDO Humanitarian Stabilisation & Operations Team looks on.

Exercise Swift Pirate is a regular feature in the station’s busy calendar, and the heavy aircraft of the RAF Mobility Force are a familiar sight in the skies around RAF Wittering.  Although not connected to Swift Pirate, the arrival of Typhoon aircraft on a brief detachment from RAF Coningsby made Wittering’s airspace all the more interesting.

The Typhoons arrive at RAF Wittering.
RAF Typhoon arriving at RAF Wittering.

With warm weather and clear skies, conditions for the arrival of the heavy aircraft and the Typhoon jets could not have been better; a morale boosting few days for personnel at the Cambridgeshire airbase.  

“What a week it has been for the A4 Force and for RAF Wittering. It has shown us yet again what a valuable resource our airfield is for Defence, with both heavy aircraft and fast jets arriving, but the A4 Force Elements have risen to the challenge and supported this major exercise and the Typhoon deployment.  This work we are doing with our colleagues from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is exceptionally important. Human security is a key part of any relief operation. Our teams from No 1 Air Mobility Wing and the UK Mobile Air Movements Squadron support the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to deliver aid to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet and our Human Security training will help it get to the people who are in most need.”

Group Captain Lincoln
Officer Commanding A4 Force Elements and Station Commander, RAF Wittering

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