This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
This weekend soldiers and airmen joined the effort to help communities affected by the recent flooding up and down the east coast of the UK.
In one operation a Chinook helicopter lifted tonnes of sandbags into a 30-metre breach in sea defences in Middlesbrough before the arrival of high tide.
Support so far has also included:
95 soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment based at Colchester deployed to Southend and Maldon to assist with the evacuation of homes
60 soldiers from the Light Dragoons based at Swanton Morley deployed to Great Yarmouth to build flood defences at an electrical sub-station
the provision of Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham as an evacuation rest centre supported by 20 soldiers from 5 Training Regiment Royal Logistic Corps; the centre received approximately 100 civilian evacuees
The operation in Middlesbrough saw a Chinook from 18 Squadron depart RAF Odiham with a team of helicopter-handling specialists to repair the sea wall, lowering underslung loads of sandbags into place.
Group Captain Richard Maddison, Station Commander at RAF Odiham and head of the Chinook Force, said:
This is a fantastic example of the adaptability and capability of the Support Helicopter Force and its personnel. The Chinook Force has continuously supported national resilience and military aid operations since it was introduced into the RAF in 1981.
It is a truly adaptable aircraft, capable of operating day and night in adverse weather and environments. The aircraft, however, would not be able to reach its true versatility without the support of the thousands of service and civilian personnel stationed at RAF Odiham.
Everyone, be it aircrew or engineers, administrators or caterers, pull together to achieve one aim, and that is to enable the Chinook Force to be able to provide this level of support 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
Published: 9 December 2013
From: Ministry of Defence