Well past ‘retirement’ age but RAF MRT still going strong

RAF MRT - 67 years young and still at the forefront of rescue services
RAF MRT – 67 years young and still at the forefront of rescue services

RAF LOSSIEMOUTH MOUNTAIN rescue team have been joining colleagues from around the UK in celebrating the anniversary of the official formation of the service in 1944.

RAF MRT was officially formed on January 22, 1944 having existed since May 1942 as a purely voluntary organisation established by the Station Medical Officer at RAF Llandwrog.

RAF Lossiemouth’s MRT was actually the RAF Kinloss MRT when it was formed in 1944, the name change coming about when the unit moved from Kinloss when the base was handed over to the Army’s 39 Engineer Regiment in 2012.

The unit currently consists of seven permanent staff alongside 19 volunteers drawn from several ranks and jobs within the RAF. All are trained in mountain navigation, climbing and immediate emergency care, as well as receiving additional training in driving and medical skills.

RAF Lossiemouth MRT are on-call 24 hours a day – and have already been involved in 26 call-outs already in 2016.

While still ready to respond to their original task of search and rescue for downed military aircrew in any environment and conditions, the team are also training to provide on-site support after any aircraft incident and assist other agencies that may require access to a crash site.

Advances in modern aircraft technology and the capability to provide better weather forecasting means the teams have to deal with fewer military air crashes these days. As a result the RAF MRTs are able to provide more support to the civilian authorities and civilian MRTs, for example in searching for missing civilians.