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RAF assistance during Storm Emma

Day One

Drivers from No 2 Mechanical Transport (2MT) Squadron rolled out from RAF Wittering to give vital assistance to Lincolnshire's Emergency Services.

Drifting snow and icy roads from Storm Emma had cut off parts of rural Lincolnshire, stranding people and leaving the most vulnerable without access to food or medical care.

In severe conditions, the civilian authorities can call on the military for help. Enter the skilled and experienced drivers of No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron. The Squadron is called 2MT for short and is the RAF's road transport capability.

Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Obi Okere and SAC Tom North were among the first to leave RAF Wittering in the biting cold. Despite the elements, both airmen were happy to help.

"It's surreal it's happening, I used to watch the news with my mum and dad and watch the military help out in times of crisis and now I'm a part of that."

Senior Aircraftman Tom North

The teams were issued radios and then divided between assisting the Lincolnshire Emergency Services and rescuing drivers who had been trapped overnight near Wainfleet.

"We have called in 2MT to the Lincolnshire County Emergency Centre to facilitate the rescue of stranded personnel and critical Emergency Services Personnel across the county. I'm very pleased that RAF Wittering is making a material difference today."

Wing Commander Jim Errington

RAF Regional Liason Officer for the East Midlands

Day Two

RAF Wittering drivers were on the road again, navigating Lincolnshire's snowbound roads to assist the emergency services.

On day one there were no let up as the drivers from 1 Expeditionary Logistic (1EL) Squadron and 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron clocked up 47 completed tasks, ferrying medical and emergency services professionals to where they were most needed.

"We're finding that a half hour journey can take up to two and a half hours, anywhere up to three hours. It's not just fresh snowfall, it's how the winds are blowing snow onto the roads."

Senior Aircraftman Tom North

Teams of drivers in 4x4 vehicles were sent from RAF Wittering, taking their vital work in shifts. 1 EL Squadron had been the unsung hero of this operation. The Squadron runs RAF Wittering's transport and fuels section and prepared the vehicles that are making a material difference in the wake of Storm Emma.

Storm Emma hit the east coast very hard with snowdrifts closing major roads and isolating towns and villages. The teams from RAF Wittering had been out in the most difficult driving conditions, making sure that Lincolnshire's key people are where they need to be.

Sergeant Marc Jeffreys works at 1 EL Squadron and has been an RAF driver for 22 years and knew exactly what his colleagues would need for the job. 

"As soon as we got the call, we got the wagons together and the kit for the guys squared away. We made sure they had sleeping bags, sat-navs and that each wagon had shovels and grit in case they got stuck."

Sergeant Marc Jeffreys

The operation to assist Lincolnshire's Emergency Services is a reflection of 1 EL Squadron and 2 MT Squadron's military roles. Logistic support is needed wherever the Royal Air Force is deployed, these Squadrons make sure that the right equipment and supplies are in the right place at the right time.

"It is great to see the people of this Station helping the emergency services in Lincolnshire. We have highly skilled and dedicated personnel at Wittering, and they are pleased to assist wherever they can."

Group Captain Tony Keeling

RAF Wittering Station Commander