Large aircraft to arrive at RAF Wittering with night flying a ‘possibility’

Large aircraft are expected at Royal Air Force Wittering from Sunday, February 16 to Friday, February 20 for Exercise Swift Pirate.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 5:00 am

No 1 Air Mobility Wing (1AMW) from RAF Brize Norton is an A4 Force Element specialising in the safe loading and unloading of military transport aircraft. Wherever in the world the RAF is moving cargo, 1AMW personnel will see that it is safely loaded and unloaded.

Aside from ordinary freight, 1AMW personnel are trained to load complex payloads such as aircraft, vehicles and even munitions. Heavy aircraft are expected at RAF Wittering throughout next week so that 1AMW can have realistic training for the conditions they are likely to meet when operating abroad.

During Exercise Swift Pirate, RAF Wittering stands as a foreign airfield and 1AMW personnel practice their skills in deployed conditions. A high readiness unit, 1AMW can be deployed anywhere in the world at very short notice.

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Exercise Swift Pirate at RAF Wittering

Group captain Jo Lincoln is station commander at RAF Wittering and commanding officer of the A4 Force Elements. She said: “Whenever you see RAF aircraft unloading food and medical supplies during humanitarian relief operations, or helicopters and land rovers unloaded from a C-17, that’s 1AMW in action.”

RAF Wittering is reaching out to its neighbours and the nearby equestrian establishments to inform them of a change to the usual pattern of flying activity. Although night flying is not expected at RAF Wittering this time, nearby communities and equestrian establishments should be aware that it remains a possibility.

Group captain Lincoln added: “Having the goodwill and support of our neighbouring communities is massively important to us. This airfield is a great asset to Defence and it’s important that we use it whenever we can to keep our personnel ready for operations.”