Tuesday, May 26, 2009
RAF Hercules - one of the last to leave Iraq
As the drawdown in Iraq gathers pace, RAF Hercules aircraft and their crews will be the last to fly out of the region later this year.
Having been the mainstay of operations since May 2003, the aircraft are helping transport more than 4,000 troops and their kit back to the UK.
24, 30, 47 and 70 Squadrons based at RAF Lyneham have all been deployed to Iraq over the last six years, with the first two squadrons using the 'J' variant of the C130, spending the most time in Basra and the Middle East.
A permanent deployment of engineers, ground crew and air crew (made up from all four squadrons) has been working through freezing conditions, sand storms and intense heat in Iraq since the beginning.