Support Force Drivers from No 2 Mechanical Transport (2MT) Squadron at Royal Air Force Wittering in Cambridgeshire are keeping Typhoon jets fuelled for Operation Biloxi.
Royal Air Force Typhoon jets and personnel have deployed to Romania to join the long-standing NATO Air Policing mission for the Black Sea region. Operation Biloxi is the British name for the NATO Air Policing mission; with engineering, logistics and medical personnel from the RAF Support Force providing round the clock support.
It’s a demanding mission for the team of six from 2MT, with over 250,000 litres of fuel each week pumped into Typhoon jets of No 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (140 EAW). Working well together is everything when you are on a busy deployment and responsible for making sure that all personnel and every item of equipment is in the right place at the right time.
Corporal McLoughlin said:
“We have a great team out here that have worked very well together; this has paid dividends during busy periods with limited down time. The guys can take satisfaction from the work they have been doing to support 140 EAW and the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission.”
Formed at King’s College in Cambridge in 1940, 2MT’s first role was to ferry aircraft spares and ammunition between RAF Stations during the Battle of Britain. More than 80 years on and 2MT remains the RAF’s road going transport capability. The Squadron’s trained military drivers also operate the specialist vehicles, fuel bowsers and towing tractors, needed to keep a modern airbase moving.
Managing the complex fleet of RAF vehicles on Operation Biloxi, making sure that they’re safe and roadworthy, is the sole responsibility of the 2MT team. But this is a NATO led mission, and working with colleagues from other air forces is an essential part of the deployment.
SAC Wardale said:
“This is my second time on Op BILOXI. 2 MT Sqn have been particularly busy out here this year which I have enjoyed. A highlight for me has been the opportunity to work in close cohesion with other NATO members.”
2MT Squadron is part of the RAF Support Force, which is headquartered at RAF Wittering. The RAF Support Force brings together most of the capabilities and skills needed to sustain modern air operations and exercises; specialist engineering and logistics, advanced military communications, tactical medical services, mountain rescue and music services.
Wing Commander Wayne Tracey commands 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing, of which 2MT Sqn is a part. He said:
“The projection of air power depends entirely on having the right people, equipment and materiel in the right place at the right time. For a military airfield to be operationally effective it needs drivers with military training, who can work safely around aircraft. I am proud to say that the 2MT Sqn team is yet again, excelling on Op Biloxi and keeping the jets of 140 EAW refuelled and airborne.”
Imagery: ©Crown Copyright (SAC Iwan Lewis)