The RAF Regional Liaison Officers (RAFRLOS) are on call 24/7/365, ready to provide military assistance to civil authorities.
The RAF can quickly provide aircraft, specialist equipment, and specialist technical knowledge for a range of incidents including floods, terrorist attacks, pandemics, nuclear accidents, and wildfires.
This is coordinated by our ten Regional Liaison Officers.
They work full time with the emergency services, civilian agencies, and local authorities as a conduit to the RAF and other military forces, before and during emergencies, including live exercises.
It's about knowing what the RAF can offer in a situation
Military support can be requested by civilian organisations or the government under the Military Aid To Civil Authorities (MACA) process
Importantly, our role is not to do everything in a response: our role is to support the emergency services and other civilian organisations with our people, equipment, and technical expertise.
In August 2019 the Toddbrook Reservoir dam in Derbyshire was threatening to burst after heavy rain and large volumes of water damaged the spillway.
The Environment Agency had issued a 'danger to life' warning and residents in the town of Whaley Bridge in the valley below were told to evacuate.
RAF Chinooks dropped bags of sand, gravel, and stone into the dam to shore it up and into surrounding watercourses to stem the flow of water into the reservoir.
Our Regional Liaison Officer collaborated with many partners including the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, Kier’s civil engineers, the Canal and Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, Derbyshire Police, and the British Army.
Meanwhile emergency services drained millions of gallons of water from the Toddbrook reservoir to reduce the risk of the dam bursting.
A lot of the time the military response is only a small percentage part of what's going on ... so yes, we did stop the dam from bursting, but our job was to buy time for the whole incident team to empty the reservoir
The UK is divided into nine RAFRLO areas, such as Scotland, and the East Midlands.
Each RAFRLO area is commanded by a Regional Liaison Officer. These RLOs are full time reservists, with the rank of Wing Commander.
The nine Regional Liaison Officers are part of RAF Operations, headed up by a tenth RLO based at RAF High Wycombe.
Our Regional Liaison Officers have been requested to support a wide range of incidents across the UK, including:
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