During the week of 23-29 Aug 21, the men and women of the Op NEWCOMBE Chinook detachment took on the challenge of running, cycling and rowing the 4603km from their base in Mali back to RAF Odiham. Organised by Flt Lt Flather of the Joint Helicopter Support Squadron (JHSS), the triathlon was held to mark three years of Chinook support to French operations in the Sahel, while concurrently raising funds for charity. Despite the operational tempo and temperatures of 45 deg C, 66 personnel from 18 Sqn RAF, JHSS, Tactical Supply Wing, 244 Sigs Sqn and many more individual augmentees from across Defence, pushed their bodies to the limit to cover a staggering 4667km , raising £850 for the Royal British Legion. The award for the greatest distance covered by a single competitor went to Sapper Ghan (69 Gurkha Field Sqn (QGE)), with an individual contribution of almost 800km.
Wg Cdr Sommers, the National Component Commander (CH-47) was presented with the cheque by Flt Lt Flather at a ceremony held in Gao on 11 Sep 21.