RAF Leeming personnel could be asked to establish a short-notice airfield responding to anything from humanitarian and disaster relief to major air operations as part of a new NATO tasking that will last for the whole of 2013.
In order to prepare for its role as lead element of NATO Response Force 2013, a team from RAF Leeming took part in the first of a series of deployed exercises aimed at setting up an Expeditionary Air Wing headquarters.
The three-day field exercise involved confirming the resources required to establish an operational military-run airbase from an austere airfield, foreign base or existing airport. Warrant Officer Derek McDonough, Warrant Officer Logistics for the Expeditionary Air Wing, said: “This has been an extremely worthwhile exercise, the team pulled together to create a very functional camp.” He added: “There is a real sense of belonging within the Expeditionary Air Wing and it’s great to see everyone helping each other out so much.”
Wing Commander Fin Monahan, Chief of Staff for the Expeditionary Air Wing, said “I am extremely pleased with the effort put in by the Expeditionary Air Wing Team. Despite some challenging weather conditions, we established a tented headquarters.”