RAF personnel from Honington have begun delivering aid to flood victims in the Thames Valley area.
On Tuesday 233 airmen and women travelled 120 miles from their home base at RAF Honington to Berkshire in a convoy of 40 vehicles to help with flood relief.
Personnel from II Squadron, RAF Regiment, and other station units moved into the Household Cavalry’s base at Combermere Barracks, Windsor, then swung into action getting help where it was most needed.
II Squadron second-in-command Flight Lieutenant Matt Shutler said: “It is early days yet, but we hope that we have made some impact in our first full day of operations and are reassuring the community that we are here to assist them.”
Yesterday, RAF ‘Gunners’ began reconnaissance patrols to get to know the community they are helping,between Windsor and Maidenhead.
Thames Valley Police established a ‘Bronze,’ Command post in part of Bisham Primary School and were joined by RAF personnel to co-ordinate the relief effort.
Inspector Mike Darrah said: “Our job is to identify people in the local area who are the most vulnerable to flooding and the RAF’s role is to deliver sandbags to those who most need them.”
As darkness fell and rain began to get heavier RAF personnel received their first delivery of sandbags at a collection point in the grounds of the historic Grade One listed Bisham Abbey - which itself has seen extensive flooding in the surrounding car parks and grounds.
Some of them were immediately taken by truck to the home of local couple Frank and Jackie Guttfield who were concerned that their Marlow Road home might be flooded.
Mr Guttfield, 74, said: “I think it’s great that the RAF are here making us feel safer. It is such a relief to know that the Armed Forces are out there looking after us.”
More than 1,650 personnel from all three Armed Services have been located at a variety of locations across the south of the UK at high readiness to receive tasks as required.