Tug of War Against a Red-Nosed Helicopter!
Royal Air Force aircrew and ground crew serving in Afghanistan chose to support Red Nose Day in their own unique way today.
Three teams of personnel from 1310 Flight, challenged each other to pull a Chinook transport helicopter along a 70 metre long taxi-way in the quickest time possible. Two teams of engineers and one of aircrew battled against the soaring heat and dust, not to mention the 16 tonne beast itself, in a bid to gain the fastest time.
However, this was secondary to the main reason for the event; to raise money for charity. 1310 Flight are raising money for someone very close to their hearts. A member of their team in Afghanistan was diagnosed with a terminal illness last month and repatriated to the UK. A percentage of the money raised will be going to the family or their chosen charity. The team are hoping to raise over £600 from the event.
In a not very evenly matched competition, victory went to the team of engineers who won with a time of 35 seconds. Second place, in 48 seconds, went to the weary engineers who had just completed a 12-hour shift; with the aircrew coming a respectable third, or ‘last’ as the engineers preferred to call it.
Engineering Officer, Flight Lieutenant Alexys Colyer, said: “We had reached the mid-point of our tour and recently moved to a new location. We knew Red Nose Day was coming up as well and we wanted to commemorate all these things by doing something a bit different; this seemed like a good idea…at the time!”
The troops are here on deployment from their home base of RAF Odiham in Hampshire, where the Chinook operates as part of 18 and 27 Sqn. The Chinook is used to great effect around Afghanistan, moving in excess of 50 troops or 12 tonnes of equipment at any one time. It is also used in the vital Medical Emergency Response Team role, rapidly extracting wounded soldiers from the battlefield to the hospital at Camp Bastion. Aircrew and engineers operate 24 hours a day, either flying or maintaining the helicopter in support of troops on the ground.
You can see more images of this event on our UK Forces Afghanistan Flickr page by clicking HERE.