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RAF Air Mobility Force sustains UK military activities in the Middle East

Royal Air Force Brize Norton based Atlas A400M tactical transport aircraft continue to sustain UK military activities in the Middle East.

RAF Movers unloading supplies from atlas aircraft

The Atlas aircraft are one element of the Air Mobility Force and is the RAF’s tactical air transport aircraft.  One key role of the aircraft is to provide the logistical link between the UK and deployed UK military units in the Middle East. 

Supplies being loaded onto the Atlas aircraft

These sorties form the Broader Middle East Air Transport Schedule and are known as ‘BATS’.  The sorties deliver the supplies needed for all activities to continue.

“These sorties are both routine and vital.  It is one of the core functions of the Air Mobility Force to deliver the supplies needed be able to sustain UK military activities here and it is a task that the A400M has been fulfilling in the Middle East now for some years”.

Squadron Leader Clarke
Lead Logistics Planning Officer with 83 Expeditionary Air Group in the Middle East

Recent BATS sorties have seen the A400M deliver equipment to support the RAF participation on the Qatari led Exercise Ferocious Falcon V.  This annual Qatari exercise is designed to allow their military forces to work with their key partner nations and this year in addition to RAF Typhoons, a British Army contingent from 1st Battalion the Scots Guards and HMS Lancaster are taking part.

RAF movers loading the Atlas aircraft

At Al Udeid Air Base the Atlas is loaded and unloaded by a combined team of ‘Movers’ from the RAF and USAF.  The RAF team is from RAF Brize Norton based 1 Air Mobility Wing and the USAF personnel are from the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron based at Ramstein Air Base Germany.

USAF and RAF air mobility aircraft on the runway

One of the Exercise Ferocious Falcon V deliveries was especially challenging, as it happened during a sudden sandstorm as the Atlas was taxiing and was immediately followed by a heavy desert thunderstorm that tested, the ‘Movers’ and aircrew. 

Atlas aircraft on runway in a heavy rainstorm

The challenging conditions however, demonstrated the teamwork that has been established between the RAF and USAF personnel at the desert airbase.