After initial discussions with Gp Capt Eddie Cole we were briefed about the new Voyager aircraft and then crawled all over one, including the cockpit. we were shown the Joint Air Despatch Training and Evaluation Unit where they assess all sorts of loads that are carried in aircraft and develop tie-down schemes for the. Everything from a tank to a helicopter to pallets of stores can be carried, but they have to be safe.
We also saw demonstrations of fast roping, abseiling and controlled descents from aircraft, the range of weapons available for force protection with some hands on time. And then we went to the flight simulator and flew from Brize Norton up the Severn Estuary, under the Severn Bridge , did some in-flight refuelling and landed at Basra – all in the simulator, which was incredibly realistic. A very good day out.
Bill Clark – Master, Woolmen’s Company