British soldiers have taken up the challenge to sort and pack 84,000 surplus helmets bound for the Ukrainian military in just two weeks.
Thirty members of the Midlands’ based “Poachers” from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, have been hard at work for the last week and are now in the final push to pack up all the helmets by Friday.
Working from morning until night, the Cottesmore based troops are currently ensconced in a huge stores warehouse at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, where the surplus supplies have been shipped from military stores from across the UK.
The task includes physically stripping the helmets of any British Army webbing or identifying badges and packing them in crates each holding 100 of the life-saving pieces of head gear.
Sergeant Oliver Church, a platoon sergeant from A Company, who is co-ordinating the mission on the ground to sort, pack and despatch the helmets on time, said: “The lads are more than happy to help the cause – hopefully what we are doing will be going to help our military counterparts in Ukraine providing them with the vital protection they really need at the moment”
The slick logistical operation saw the helmets collated and processed by Team Leidos staff employed under Defence Equipment and Support’s Logistics and Services Transformation (LCST) programme.
The soldiers process up to 12,000 helmets a day packing the 100 helmets into giant cardboard boxes ready for Team Leidos to transport to Poland for onward distribution to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
This is not the first time that the UK has supplied helmets to Ukraine. In 2014 the UK supplied the Ukrainian Armed Forces with hundreds of Mk7 helmets together with earlier Mk6 and Mk6A helmets, which were used by the Ukrainian service personnel during the war in Eastern Europe.
The troops from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian, who are recruited from across the counties of the East of England and East Midlands including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire, are a Light Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
They are currently the United Kingdom Standby Battalion (UKSB) ready to deploy at short notice to anywhere in the world they are needed.