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Military helicopters

RAF: Army reservists hitch a lift on new RAF Puma 2 helicopter

raf puma 2

With its low rotor downwash and twin cargo doors the RAF’s new PUMA 2 helicopter proved the ideal asset to provide lift for members of the Central Reserve Headquarters of the Adjutant General’s Corps (CRHQ AGC) on their annual training camp at Barton Stacey, Hampshire, this weekend (5-7 June).

With its low rotor downwash and twin cargo doors the RAF’s new PUMA 2 helicopter proved the ideal asset to provide lift for members of the Central Reserve Headquarters of the Adjutant General’s Corps (CRHQ AGC) on their annual training camp at Barton Stacey, Hampshire

The specialist soldiers, some of whom are lawyers, financiers and linguists in civilian life, work in the four branches of the AGC in a National Reserve unit. They are the first reservists to fly in the new aircraft, giving the RAF aircrew the opportunity to practice lifting troops in and out of the field.

Officer Commanding CRHQ Major Gordon Fraser was delighted to have RAF support to deliver military training to the group. “This is the first time any of the Reserves have seen a Puma 2 aircraft. It is an impressive machine,” he said. “And, the aircrew were extremely informative and professional.”

As part of a £340m Life Extension Programme (LEP) 24 of the RAF’s Puma Force aircraft, based at RAF Benson, have been upgraded with improved ballistic protection and new engines offering greater on-board fuel efficiency.

With its low rotor downwash and twin cargo doors the RAF’s new PUMA 2 helicopter proved the ideal asset to provide lift for members of the Central Reserve Headquarters of the Adjutant General’s Corps (CRHQ AGC) on their annual training camp at Barton Stacey, Hampshire

The new helicopter can carry twice as many troops and kit over three times the range of its predecessor in the most demanding of environmental conditions making it ideal for combat and humanitarian missions.

Puma 2’s low rotor downwash and twin cargo doors make it easier for transporting troops in and out of confined urban environments. It can also be used for casualty evacuation and to move essential kit around with ease.

The Puma Force Commander, Group Captain Simon Paterson RAF, explained: “The Puma is the ideal helicopter for urban operations, as the air security for the London 2012 Olympics highlighted. The recent upgrades to the aircraft have proven invaluable as it has a greater range, endurance and payload and it is already playing a key role in overseas operations in Afghanistan.

“Training alongside the Reserve forces allows us to readily deploy together and work in harmony to support combat and humanitarian operations wherever and whenever we are needed.”

Major Fraser added: “By utilising the RAF assets it means that we can provide innovative and invigorating training to the AGC National Reserves. Delivering an imaginative training package is key to the retention piece of Op FORTIFY*.”

The reservists, some of whom have been deployed to Afghanistan, Libya, South America, Cyprus, Gibraltar and the UK in the past 12 months, completed their Military Annual Training Tests (MATTs) at the Barton Stacey training area and Army Training Regiment Winchester, perfect locations for the joint exercise.

Source: RAF
Author: RAF
Photo: RAF
© MOD Crown Copyright 2015

Autor: Redakcja Świat

Redakcja Świat