Soldiers and aircrew hone helicopter skills together

Working under the strong downwash created by the rotors of a Chinook helicopter, troops have practised a key skill to move supplies around the battlefield.

Soldiers from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (13 AASR) rigged and hooked up vehicles and equipment to be moved as underslung loads by an RAF Chinook helicopter. By day (16 Jan) and night (15 Jan), troops on the ground and aircrew worked together to polish their skills, moving loads between the parade square at Merville Barracks and Friday Woods in Colchester.

Moving vehicles and supplies as underslung loads uses the pace and range of helicopters to out manoeuvre the enemy and allows units to be supported at a greater distance from their base.

I really enjoy working underneath helicopters Corporal Haddon

Corporal Lewis Haddon is a Landing Point Commander, trained to supervise the rigging and marshalling of underslung loads on the ground.

“I really enjoy working underneath helicopters,” he said. “It’s noisy and the downwash is really strong, you just have to block that out and focus on following your drills properly and safely. Using helicopters means we can push supplies forward further and faster on an operation, and with less danger than road moves.”

13 AASR’s core role is to provide logistic and equipment support to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s airborne rapid reaction force. It is trained and equipped for parachute, helicopter and air landing operations.