As part of the government’s response to alleviate pressure on fuel supplies, 64 members of the RAF are delivering fuel alongside industry partners.
The RAF Drivers were called up at short notice and after conducting 2 days of specific training they started deliveries to some of the worst affected areas to ensure fuel stations could remain open.
The Drivers are working alongside colleagues from the Royal Navy and Army as part of Operation ESCALIN. In total there are 486 members of the armed forces on the task.
The teams are working 12-hour shifts starting at 04:00am to collect fuel from refineries and deliver it directly to the forecourts. They are due to remain on the task throughout October.
The Drivers have been drawn from across the RAF because they were all qualified heavy goods vehicle drivers that are able to provide immediate relief. One such Driver is Senior Aircraftmen Banning from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire; he is usually responsible for delivering fuel to the RAF’s frontline Typhoon jets.
"It’s been a hectic week, but it feels great to pull into a petrol station with 40,000 litres of fuel and thinking how many people it will help."
Senior Aircraftmen Banning
Temporary RAF Driver
Another Driver, Senior Aircraftman Patel said it, "feels amazing," to be part of the Operation; "When we arrive at a fuel station and meet the owners and customers and they are genuinely happy and pleased to see us. I think it goes to show we are doing a good thing and it is a nice feeling."
The fuel supply chain situation has significantly improved over the last fortnight, with deliveries increasing and demand stabilising. Every single day last week, more fuel was delivered than was taken out at petrol stations, and the vast majority of forecourts across the country are no longer experiencing shortages.
Sergeant Johnson has been working as a driver’s mate, helping with navigation on the roads and organising the equipment at fuel terminals.
"I’m proud to be here. It’s great to be supporting the civilian industry and to serve my country in a sense.”
Sergeant Matthew Johnson
Temporary Drivers Navigator
You can read more about the role of an RAF Logistics Driver.