News story

Military assist UK flood relief efforts

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.

An 18 Squadron RAF Chinook moving bags of aggregate into breached sea defences [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
An RAF Chinook moving bags of aggregate into breached sea defences

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:

An 18 Squadron Chinook
A member of the Joint Helicopter Support Squadron checks the fastenings for the bags of aggregate under a Chinook are secure [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]

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.

A Chinook from RAF Odiham
A Chinook from RAF Odiham supporting the Environment Agency in carrying out repairs to east coast flood defences [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
Sergeant Ireland from 18 Squadron
Sergeant Ireland, from 18 Squadron, looks through night-vision goggles for a suitable landing zone [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
Personnel from the Joint Helicopter Support Squadron
Personnel from the Joint Helicopter Support Squadron at RAF Odiham en route to provide assistance [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
An RAF Chinook with an underslung load of bagged aggregate
An RAF Chinook moving bags of aggregate into breached sea defences [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
Filling bags of aggregate
Joint Helicopter Support Squadron personnel assisting civilian contractors with the filling of bags of aggregate [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
An 18 Squadron RAF Chinook
A 18 Squadron RAF Chinook, responding to a call for help by the Environment Agency, lands at Seaton Carew Golf Club [Picture: Corporal Jimmy Wise RAF, Crown copyright]
Published 9 December 2013