The drivers, from RAF Wittering based 2 Mechanical Transport (2MT) Squadron, are supporting the initial deployment by getting the vital equipment required to conduct the mission to Estonia.
2 Mechanical Transport Squadron trucks have been rolling out from the Cambridgeshire station all week, with a convoy of seven leaving first thing this morning. The spares and equipment will enable four RAF Typhoons to patrol the skies from Amari air station in Estonia.
Weeks before the final push from RAF Wittering, 2MT’s drivers were dispatched to Royal Air Force stations across the country to collect ground equipment, aircraft spares and even airfield vehicles. In total 2MT will have moved an impressive 582 tonnes of equipment, roughly the payloads of 15 A400M aircraft.
“We’ve been co-ordinating the loads to be ready and prepared so that we can deliver everything to the ferry port and ensure that we can move everything once it gets to Estonia. The return journey is also a factor and clearances have to be arranged for the convoys when they come home.”
Corporal Jack Coppack
Lead planner for this operation
The Baltic air-policing mission is a NATO led operation to protect the airspace of the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As a NATO member, the United Kingdom has been a key contributor to the mission since 2014. The RAF Typhoons will provide a quick reaction alert capability.
“For eighty years now 2MT Squadron has been making sure the RAF has what it needs to project air power. For operations like this you need trained military drivers who understand what operating around an air base really means.”
Flying Officer Sarah Owen
Officer Commanding Operations Flight at 2MT
“We’re making an important contribution to a major NATO operation, so of course I’m very pleased. Success in the air means you need all the right elements on the ground and that’s where our specialist engineering and logistics squadrons make a real difference.”
Group Captain Tony Keeling
Station Commander at RAF Wittering