Throughout 2015/2016, 5001 Squadron has supported many UK military operations around the world.
The squadron’s core capability, to rapidly construct aircraft hangars and other items of Technical Working Environments (TWE) at challenging locations, has been a key enabler for deployed forces and continues to be in high demand. The TWE installations included a large number of Rubb Expeditionary Forces Aircraft Shelter System (EFASS) structures.
5001 Squadron’s biggest project has been the construction of many TWE items in support of Op SHADER, the UK’s contribution to the coalition campaign against terror in the Middle East. This has included Facilities Installation Teams from the squadron constructing aircraft shelters at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The teams installed 20.4m x 30m and 25m x 40m rapid erect EFASS hangars, as well as an Environmentally Conditioned Armament Storage Shelter (ECASS) to support Tornado and Typhoon aircraft missions over Iraq and Syria.
Teams from the Squadron also completed work in the Middle East to construct aircraft shelters to support the RAF’s Reaper deployment in the region. These Remotely Piloted Air Systems have a large wing span which required the construction of the larger EFASS UAV hangar, equipped with a Heli-Door. These tasks were challenging due to the austere location and the harsh environment experienced during the build, which saw not only the expected high temperature but also extremely high winds and dust storms.
In the UK, the Squadron provided aircraft shelters for an environmental trial of Typhoon aircraft at RAF Coningsby. This trial was a success with the Typhoon Force proving the viability and benefits of utilising small aircraft shelters on a flight line. It also provided 5001 Squadron with an invaluable opportunity to train new personnel in TWE construction on a Fast Jet operating base, representative of an operational deployment, while still being within easy reach of home base.
With more than 60 TWE structures in use around the world, the Squadron has a large and expanding commitment to inspect and maintain all of them on a 6 monthly basis. Tasks include repairing damage and faults as required and ensuring they remain safe and provide the required capability.
Planned construction tasks
Site surveys have been completed for the construction of TWE at the Falkland Islands to support the return of Chinook Helicopters. Planning is already at an advanced stage and equipment is being prepared for the long sea voyage. Planning is also in progress for the construction of TWE to support aircraft trials in the Outer Hebrides and Indian Ocean.
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