AIR BRANCH RESERVISTS SUPPORTING TEN TORS ON DARTMOOR
Along with two Junglie Sea Kings from Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), a pair of RNR Air Branch Reservists supported this year's Ten Tors onDartmoor.
Lieutenant Commander ‘Scouse’ Leach and Colour Sergeant Pete Wooldridge were on hand to add a naval influence in 1 Artillery Brigade’s Operations room, which run’s the annual endurance expedition for youngsters. The event is one of the biggest multi-agencies, tri service and civil contingency operations in theUK, with over 2500 teenagers entering from schools, colleges and cadet organisations.
From delivering personnel to remote hilltops to providing a 24-hour Medical evacuation service over the busy long weekend the Sea Kings are in constant demand. Providing support to those in the air and understanding what is achievable through the Ops room and essential for the success of Ten Tors, is what these experienced reservists have to offer.
“The versatility and flexibility of the Junglies has helped provide dedicated and immediate medical response cover over many years,” said Lt Cdr ‘Scouse’ Leach. “The Brigade Ops Room can be a very busy corner of Okehampton when the expedition is ongoing. We aim to bring a sense of’ Naval-calmness’ to the proceedings.”
Most of the helicopter tasking over the weekend has traditionally been reactive, supporting the needs of Ten Tors. However, it also offers a realist training environment for the aircrew and engineers of 848 Naval Air Squadron - CHF's last remaining Sea King Unit.
Flight Lieutenant Becky Rowlands is Detachment Commander, "This event has provided a great opportunity to practice many flying disciplines, load lifting, winching and casualty evacuations. From a personal point of view, it's very inspiring seeing the young competitors all across Dartmoor trudged through the wet terrain and up and down Tors.”
This year however will be the Sea King's final appearance with Ten Tors as they are withdrawn from service in early 2016. In recognition, Brigadier Jez Bennett of Headquarters 1 Artillery Brigade presented CHF with a commemorative Gold Medal in thanks for their continued support and dedicated service.