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Tug of War Against a Red-Nosed Helicopter!

March 18, 2011

Royal Air Force aircrew and ground crew serving in Afghanistan chose to support Red Nose Day in their own unique way today.

1310 Flight Aircrew pulling the red-nosed Chinook. Picture: Sgt Alison Baskerville. Crown Copyright/MOD 2011.

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.

Flight Lieutenant Alyson Colyer, 1310 Flight Engineering Officer. Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011.

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.

Aircrew, Groundcrew...and Chinook of 1310 Flight. Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

You can see more images of this event on our UK Forces Afghanistan Flickr page by clicking HERE.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 03:09

    It was so nice to see pictures of the Troops, and good to hear that all the troops took part in a fund raising for charity for Red Nose Day, All the Troops that took part in pulling the red nosed helicopter in the quickest time ….such a challenge they must be so strong……
    Well done to all the troops

  2. Michael Diamond permalink
    March 19, 2011 05:44

    Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day is a very British Institution that does amazing work all around the world for people in need. It’s great to see that it is supported everywhere! Let’s hope they raise a lot of money tonight!

  3. Joy permalink
    March 19, 2011 12:47

    Well done to all of you you never cease to amaze me..
    You found the time & the strength & energy to carry this out..
    Good luck to the soldier who was flown home.

  4. Dave Hamlyn permalink
    March 19, 2011 19:35

    I’m safe at home in Canada over 6000 miles from Afganistan. I’m very proud of all the troops working there from every country and the job they do. To actually see some pictures of my good friend from 1310 Flight doing the “Red Nose” charity brought a tear to my eye. You are all amazing, and will never be forgotten.

    • March 19, 2011 21:17

      Hi there, much as I would like to, I don’t normally have the time to reply to all these comments. Just wanted to say how pleased I was though to read yours. I covered this story myself and sorted out the pics with my colleague; so it’s really nice to receive feedback like this. Thank you for taking the time to write what you did. Regards from Nick (blog editor) in Camp Bastion.

  5. Tina Widdison permalink
    March 20, 2011 01:08

    Well done all, a fantastic effort and glad to see the engineers ‘pulled’ through! This was especially nice to read and see as my husband is out there on 1310 with you at the moment. Look forward to seeing you all back soon xx

  6. Sean Millward permalink
    March 20, 2011 02:27

    My son Sam is shown pulling hard from the front in the first picture, he’s a young pilot on his first tour and makes me feel very proud to be his dad.

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