On 15th May 2018, the A400M Atlas completed its first Operation COLDSTARE, a maritime reconnaissance of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The A400M crew patrolled the remote Islands and surrounds, completing three hours of Maritime Radar Reconnaissance(MRR) to monitor and report on environmental conditions. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, is a British Overseas Territory and a very remote collection of Islands, mostly rugged and mountainous. At higher elevations, the Islands are permanently covered with snow and ice.
“This is a major milestone for the A400M; not only have we permanently deployed the aircraft over 7000 miles from home, we are also achieving operational tasking to the furthest reaches of the Joint Operating Area. It is a great privilege for LXX Squadron to be at the forefront of the A400M’s operational career but we could not have achieved this without the support of our Whole Force partners at RAF Brize Norton and our colleagues at DE&S.”
Wing Commander Ed Horne
Officer Commanding LXX Squadron
The beginning of April 2018 marked the end of 36 years of support from the C130 Hercules fleet, and since then the A400M Atlas has been detached to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI). Providing tactical airlift, maritime reconnaissance and search and rescue capabilities, this operation will be the first of many that the A400M crew will conduct.