3 MC Sqn on Magic Carpet 15
Earlier this year 3 Mobile Catering Squadron deployed to Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) Thumrait, on Exercise Magic Carpet (Ex MC) where the Typhoons of 3 Sqn and HQ of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) participated in bilateral training with the RAFO. 3 MC Sqn was tasked to provide full catering support to all deployed personnel using a bespoke Operational Field Catering System (OFCS) facility.
The Activation Party arrived at Camp Green, the UK compound at Thumrait to find it desolate, dusty and hot. Through copious amounts of water and determination, the Sqn constructed the field kitchen from which 28 Chefs and Caterers would operate. In just a couple of days the kitchen stood proud, ready to feed 350 hungry personnel. Furthermore, the Front of House staff had prepared nearly 100 accommodation portacabins for occupation.
As the Exercise ramped up and Typhoons and Hawks took control of the skies, the bilateral co-operation above was replicated on the ground as the Sqn worked with Host Nation contractors and procured local fresh produce to supplement the rations sourced from the UK.
Three hundred kilometres north of Camp Green sat Al Ghaftan Ranges. Open to the elements and comprising solely of a barely recognisable straight piece of track; a runway. Austere in every way possible, this location was used as a forward base for 30 personnel for 12 days. Two chefs provided morale in thrice daily doses for personnel who were otherwise miles away from civilisation. Essential to the Exercise, the team provided support by acting as a well-equipped enemy task force with RADAR capabilities armed with SAMS.
Conditions remained challenging back at Camp Green, a destructive sandstorm swept through, making everyday tasks that much harder and ensuring constant cleaning was required to maintain the necessary hygiene standards. Reaching 63ºC in the kitchen, TG 19 personnel endeavoured to give the diners the best experience possible and even hosted a VIP dining-in night with senior guests from the RAFO.
Additional morale and charity money was generated from theme nights in the welfare cabin such as “Take Me Out,” Camel Racing and quiz nights.
The 3 MC Sqn contribution to the Det was recognised by the award of CO 121 EAW’s Team Commendation at the end of the Detachment, a fitting end to a detachment that was both hard work and enjoyable.