What is the C17, CSAT & AE Team?

The C17, CSAT & AE Project Team is part of the Air Support Operating Centre, and covers three areas:

CSAT

The CSAT element of the Project Team supports two BAE 146-100 CC2 and two BAE 146 CMk3 aircraft based at RAF Northolt in London. The BAE 146 CC2 is capable of carrying up to 30 passengers. The BAE 146 CMk3 is capable of carrying approximately 90 personnel in an Air Transport role. All aircraft continue to provide outstanding performance in support of current UK and worldwide operations and tasking, as well as current theatre operations.

Operated by 32(TR) Squadron, the 146 is used to transport high-priority personnel and equipment in support of Military Commanders. Other roles include Ministerial and VIP transport into theatre as well as providing humanitarian aid and compassionate repatriation of Service personnel to the UK.

The CSAT team provides timely engineering and logistics support to 32(TR) Sqn. In addition, the CSAT team links with the respective aircraft design organisations and EASA in order to ensure airworthiness.

C17

The C17, CSAT and AE Project Team (PT) support eight Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Capable of carrying some 70 tonnes of freight over a distance of 2400 nautical miles (4445km), it also has the advantage of being able to carry outsize loads such as armoured vehicles and helicopters. The aircraft continues to provide an outstanding performance in support of current UK operations, and since delivery the UK fleet flying hour total stands in excess of 100,000 hours.

Operated by 99 Squadron, the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft provides strategic and outsized cargo airlift. It also provides humanitarian aid and repatriation of Service personnel to the UK. The aircraft is also used for aero medical purposes, and has the capacity to transport 130 military personnel using a palletised seating arrangement that can be installed onto or removed from the aircraft as and when required.

The C17, CSAT and AE procures support for 99 Squadron personnel to provide operational and immediate-level maintenance. Five-yearly depot level maintenance and C-17 Virtual Fleet upgrades / enhancements are provided to the PT via US Foreign Military Sales arrangements on an availability-based Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) contract in accordance with the worldwide C-17 Virtual Fleet concept.

The PT also provides 99 Squadron ground crew training that is carried out predominantly in the UK by 24 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton and using Boeing flight simulator at Farnborough for engine running and other specialised activities. Initial aircrew training is carried out at the Farnborough facility for pilots. Loadmaster training is provided by the RAAF at their main operating base at Amberley and in the USA at Altus AFB. Currency training is provided by Boeing flight on their simulator at Farnborough.

Airborne Equipment

The Airborne Equipment Branch of C17 CSAT PT are responsible for the procurement, maintenance, support, packing and disposal of personnel and stores despatch of parachute systems from aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing. The capability includes clothing and oxygen support for high altitude despatch of personnel and the ability to drop stores (including humanitarian aid) and boats onto land or sea.

The provision is split between Airborne Forces Equipment which encompasses personnel carrying parachutes and Airborne Delivery Equipment which is stores delivery platforms and parachute systems. Operated by 16 Bgde, Special Forces and 47 Air Despatch Squadron the capabilities address a range of needs in support of operations to provide initial insertion capabilities and support to military and civilians in need of resupply. The project team also supports a Total Support Package contract to provide packing and maintenance to all stores parachute systems and the majority of the personnel carrying parachute systems. The predominant despatch aircraft is the C130J with more limited clearances for despatch from rotary wing aircraft. Work is ongoing to develop the capabilities on the A400M aircraft for 2018 and potentially a capability on C17.

Reference

Doing Business with Defence Handbook. Edition 24 (2018).

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