Keeping It Current
Each year, as well as completing a number of weekend-based training sessions, every reservist is required to undertake 15 days of Annual Continuous Training (ACT). Flt Lt Caroline Krolikowski reports.
The focus of ACT for 4624 Movs Sqn RAuxAF is to provide an opportunity to consolidate trade training, carry out the plethora of mandatory briefings and to undertake a short period of Through Life Development (TLD) activity. This short article gives an idea of what the personnel of D Flight achieved during their recent ACT period in November 2016.
Activities start with seven days of trade work with plenty of variety for everyone. The majority of the period was spent supporting Air Movs Sqn at Brize Norton where individuals gained valuable experience across a whole host of sections – Cargo, Traffic, Passenger Terminal, Imports, Load Plans, Load Control and Mov Ops. Those on Traffic duties (loading and unloading aircraft) had exposure to all our current platforms while working both day and night shifts. This included unloading an Antonov from Calgary loaded with three Wild Cat helicopters. Those working in Cargo found themselves assisting with the acceptance and build of 15 tons of unit freight. Off base tasks are sometimes possible and on this occasion, two days were spent at RAF Odiham where flight personnel provided assistance to the MSF who were recovering a JHC Exercise.
A few fortunate individuals were also able to deploy away on exercise tasks with 1AMW reaching Bahrain and Canada in the process. These are great opportunities for those whose civilian work commitments restrict them from volunteering to undertake Exercise tasks outside of ACT. SACs Bayes and Elsey were part of a 1AMW Voyager team to Bahrain, handling 90 pax and a C17 load, which was part of the aircraft flow. Not to be outdone, I was able to maintain my Voyager Dispatcher currency by doing a 2Gp task to Torrejon, taking 110 pax and freight out for Ex LISTED PARATROOPER.
The Flight were also fortunate to be offered the opportunity of an A400M flight.
The second half of our ACT started with ceremonial duties. We deployed to RAF Northolt to parade with 501, 4626 and 600 Sqns as a composite contingent for the annual Lord Mayor’s Parade in London. The weather was not favourable to start with (it chucked it down!) but it finally cleared when we marched through the streets of London, which were lined with large and appreciative crowds. The following day we participated in the Oxford Remembrance Parade paying tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Through Life Development (TLD)
The purpose of this particular period of TLD was for flight personnel to broaden their understanding and appreciation of tri-service military history and its significance. Activities included a guided tour of the Op OVERLORD HQ at Southwick House followed by lunch in the Golden Lion pub which served as the Officers and SNCO mess during OVERLORD. We were able to visit Vector Aerospace in Gosport which undertake the maintenance, repair and overhaul services for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and witnessed the complete servicing process for the Chinook fleet.
The highlight of our trip to Portsmouth, however, was to have dinner in the senior Rates Mess on board HMS Victory.
The 15 days of non-stop activity had been tiring, effective, but most of all enjoyable, resulting in enhanced skills and gained experience of all those who participated. Tribute must be paid to those behind the scenes whose support and assistance resulted in a highly successful and memorable ACT; our sincere thanks to you all.