RAF Honington specialists assisting in Salisbury nerve agent investigation
Expert personnel from the RAF Regiment at Honington have been supporting the police investigation into the attempted murder of a former Russian spy in Salisbury
The Ministry of Defence revealed today that 22 personnel drawn from 20 (Defence Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Wing, RAF Regiment, and 27 Squadron RAF Regt all based at RAF Honington have been giving specialist support to the civilian emergency services the Army operations to remove vehicles.
Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are still in intensive care after being found collapsed and unconscious in Salisbury on March 6. They are thought to have been poisoned with the highly toxic, weapons-grade Societ-era nerve agent Novichok.
Cpl Jules Plowman, said: “As members of 20 Wing, RAF Regiment, my team and I specialise in dealing with CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear] hazards. We are intensively trained and well equipped to tackle this type of problem, in this case, in support of the civil police.
“Although a hazardous role, it’s extremely rewarding to know that we are making such critical contributions to protecting the British public and assisting our civil emergency service colleagues.”
The Metropolitan Police who are leading the investigation requested assistance from the military to remove a number of vehicles and objects from several areas for inspection and investigation.
The RAF personnel have been carrying out personnel decontamination in support of the civil emergency services and also conducting addition training for the ambulance service.
All personnel from 20 Wg and 27 Sqn are specialist counter-CBRN operators who routinely train to support the emergency services in response to CBRN incidents.
They also have a global role to provide CBRN reconnaissance, sampling and initial identification of agents: biological warfare surveillance and operational decontamination in support of UK Defence.