Trade Group 5 Spearhead Capability Is here
After a long and difficult path, 5001 Sqn have now been given the responsibility for providing initial enabling and sustaining support for forthcoming Operations and Exercises, as well as being able to provide a surge capability where necessary.
Spearhead is scalable; from having two personnel deploy in support of trials to 20+ 5001 Sqn personnel being made available to enable and sustain a Deployed Operating Base in support of an Expeditionary Air Wing.
The first deployment took place in June 16 with 5001 Sqn personnel deploying to Souda Bay in Crete to set up and run the General Engineering functions needed to support the ISTAR assets based there that support Op SHADER. This has been a great success and proven the concept whereby the Sqn are able to supply all of the resources needed to support a detachment to ensure that all necessary equipment can be maintained.
Subsequent deployments have been carried out to ensure the successful outcome of the A400M rough strip landing trials; this saw two 5001 Sqn personnel deploy to Woodbridge in Suffolk at very short notice to ensure that the essential Airfield Support Equipment necessary to enable the trial was kept serviceable.
As well as these new style of deployments, Spearhead personnel are still actively involved with the more traditional support of our sister Air Combat Service Support Units such as 2 MT Sqn and 3 MCS. This ensures that 5001 Sqn generally have a worldwide footprint of personnel at any time, a great achievement for a Sqn that numbers around 160 personnel and is already heavily committed to building and maintaining Technical Working Environments around the globe, being the Ministry of Defence’s key Technical Environmental Conditioning support organisation and also supporting RAF Wittering’s Trade Group 5 needs.
While only being in existence for a few short months the Spearhead teams are already in heavy demand in support of RAF Operations around the world, with further deployments to support other areas of Op SHADER in the pipeline. It is hoped that as the news of their successes spreads that the Sqn will be involved in a diverse range of activities that will ensure that the 5001 Sqn Spearhead will be one of the first capabilities thought about whenever a new Op or Exercise is ever planned.