Prime Minister David Cameron praised the work of Service personnel who provide the ‘airbridge’ between Britain and Afghanistan on a visit to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Whilst there Mr Cameron was given a tour of the RAF’s newest transport plane, the C-17 Globemaster, by Brize Norton’s Station Commander, Group Captain Dom Stamp.
The aircraft, the seventh C-17 acquired by the RAF, is capable of flying non-stop to Afghanistan and can carry up to 138 people, a Chinook helicopter, or up to three Warrior armoured vehicles. The C-17 can also be converted rapidly to offer intensive care provision.
In this role it provides exceptional support to the aeromedical airbridge, with one aircraft on standby 24-hours-a-day to fly seriously injured personnel back to the UK at short notice.
The PM said the newly-delivered plane showed the Government’s commitment to succeed in Afghanistan.
David Cameron said;
What I am looking at today is the investment that we’re making to make sure that we succeed in Afghanistan, and make sure we have got the very best airbridge between Britain and Afghanistan.
“This aeroplane can carry three Apache helicopters, it can take a whole Chinook helicopter.
“It’s a very, very efficient piece of equipment and it’s very good news that we are investing in this - evidence that we’re giving our Armed Forces the capability, the flexibility and the mobility that they need to do the job that we ask them to.”
It’s lovely to be here and say thank you to the people who are working very hard to make sure the airbridge between Afghanistan and Britain is open and working well.
Group Captain Stamp praised staff for coping with the ‘worst that the British winter could throw at us’ in recent months and for their year-round efforts to support military colleagues serving in Afghanistan.
They do a phenomenal job day-in, day-out, throughout the year. It’s lovely for the Prime Minister to come down to say thank you.
Ministry of Defence
RAF: C-17 Globemaster III (external link)