Night flying and large aircraft activity is expected at Royal Air Force Wittering from Monday 20th June until the evening of Wednesday 22nd June inclusive.
There will be night flying from 2200 until 0200 (local time). As usual, RAF Wittering is communicating with its neighbours and the nearby equestrian establishments to inform them of a change to the usual pattern of flying activity.
Operating under the cover of night is essential in modern military operations. Night Vision Goggles are a real tactical advantage and enable our crews to land and take-off safely during the hours of darkness for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions.
Wing Commander Jez Case is the Station Commander at RAF Wittering. He said: “I’m very much aware that it hasn’t been long since the last period of Night Vision Goggle (NVG) training, and that it can be disturbing for our neighbours. NVG training is vital for our aircrew to maintain their operational capability, and the level of training the RAF conducts is proportional to what is required.”
NVG training is a method of conducting night flying without lights on an airfield. Darkness is essential for it to be successful; but there are fewer hours of darkness in the summer months, particularly during the weeks surrounding the summer solstice which means it takes place later in the night.
Wing Commander Case continued: “In the winter it is darker for far longer, so our crews can train earlier in the day. But the requirement for vital NVG training does not change with the seasons; they are driven by our operational requirements and our interests overseas, and therefore the training has to continue. Crews benefit greatly from training at different locations, and RAF Wittering is happy to support such important activity.”
The RAF transport fleet is based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, but training constantly in the same place would not be realistic, and so night flying is spread as widely and thinly as possible across suitable airfields in the United Kingdom.
Wing Commander Case concluded: “I am very grateful to our surrounding communities for their understanding, patience and goodwill. Our neighbours’ enthusiasm for what the RAF does is appreciated by everyone at RAF Wittering.”