RAF C17 Aircraft in Afghanistan
A Royal Air Force C17 Globemaster transport aircraft awaiting its cargo at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the latest addition to the RAF's inventory of transport aircraft. It is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world, or directly to more temporary forward operating bases owing to its short field capability.
The design of the aircraft allows it to carry out high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, thus allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields onto runways as short as 3, 500 feet long and only 90 feet wide.
The aircraft can operate into and out of problematic sites such as those surrounded by inhospitable terrain or made difficult by adverse weather conditions
Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 Prepares for a Sortie Over Afghanistan
A Tornado GR4 from 617 Squadron taxis priorto take off from Kandahar air base in Afghanistan for another mission in support of ground troops.
The squadron are part of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing based at Kandahar Air Wing, Afghanistan.
904 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) is the RAF headquarters element based at Kandahar airfield, which is a strategically vital location just ten miles from Afghanistan's second city comprising of 1.2 million people. Kandahar is one of the world's busiest airfields, with over 400 aircraft and a quarter of a million aircraft movements every year.
It is home to a diverse mix of nations operating a vast range of platforms including RAF Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), helicopters, strategic and tactical lift such as the RAF C-130, civilian and contractor aircraft and a large number of fast jets including F16, Mirage 2000, FA-18, A-10 and the RAF Tornado GR4. These aircraft operate in harmony to provide critical support to the Land Forces and contribute to the ISAF mission to stabilise and develop Afghanistan.
904 EAW is commanded by a group captain.The Commanding Officer of 904 EAW acts as the senior British military officer for British Force Elements based at Kandahar Airfield, representing the United Kingdom and liaising with Command Kandahar Airfield (COMKAF). The commanding Officer ensures that British Service personnel, entitled British and embedded nations are provided with real life support in order to maintain Force Element operational capabilities
RAF Chinook Helicopter at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan
A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter from 1310 Flight at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
The RAF operates the largest fleet of Chinook support helicopters after the US Army and they have been operating in Afghanistan since late 2006.
As the most versatile workhorse of British air operations in theatre, the Chinook has been responsible for delivering personnel and essential supplies to forward operating and patrol bases across Helmand province.
They act as the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) helicopters for ISAF and Afghan casualty extraction, as well as deploying combat troops against narcotic facilities and insurgent strongholds.
Chinooks are used primarily for troop-carrying and for load-carrying (both internal and underslung) and can carry up to 54 troops or 10 tonnes of freight.
The cabin is large enough to accommodate two Land Rovers, while the three underslung load hooks allow a huge flexibility in the type and number of loads that can be carried.
Secondary roles include Search and Rescue and casualty evacuation (a total of 24 stretchers can be carried).
The crew consists of either two pilots, or a pilot and navigator, and two air loadmasters
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