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Humanitarian missions

  • Derbyshire
    How the RAF helped a Derbyshire town bolster its flood defences

    In our second blog to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Manna, we take a look at one of the more recent humanitarian aid missions undertaken by the RAF. Record rainfall last August had left a dam in Derbyshire in danger of breaching its defences, threatening a town below. Within hours of receiving the call, a Chinook was on site, dropping tonnes of gravel to shore up the defences.

  • Berlin Airlift
    Berlin Airlift: 70 years on

    In 1948 the President of the United States, Harry Truman, launched Operation Plainfare, to urgently deliver food and supplies to the people of Berlin. Now 70 years on, we look back on the RAF's involvement during this humanitarian aid mission.

  • An RAF serviceman helps to push a car through the snow
    Heroes don't always wear capes - sometimes they arrive in 4x4 vehicles!

    Some of the RAF's finest swept to the aid of those worst affected by the incredible snow and ice brought by the Beast from the East earlier this month.

  • RAF personnel unload aid for Hurricane Irma victims
    Helping those who help others

    As hundreds of RAF servicemen and women fly out to help the islands devastated by Hurricane Irma, the RAF Benevolent Fund stands ready to help their families left behind.

  • Flt Lt Ryan Foils
    When natural disasters strike the RAF is called on to deliver aid

    When the Pacific islands of Vanuatu were devastated by Cyclone Pam, the international community rallied to help. The RAF's C17 fleet was ideal to help deliver the humanitarian aid to such a remote corner of the ocean.

  • Op Cheshire
    RAF's longest running airlift helped save the people of Sarajevo

    The operation to keep the inhabitants of Sarajevo alive during civil war in the early 1990s remains the longest running airlift in the RAF’s history. It mirrored one of the RAF's first humanitarian aid drops, Operation Manna, when food was dropped for the starving Dutch people.

  • Flt Lt Daz Ryllo
    Quick response was key to helping Iraqi refugees

    When the RAF is called upon to help deliver humanitarian aid, a swift response is essential. You can't get swifter than arriving at work at RAF Brize Norton in the morning to dropping five tonnes of aid in Iraq by the evening. Hercules pilot Flt Lt Daz Ryllo and his crew did just that when UK Aid sent supplies to refugees isolated on a mountainside.

  • Op Bushel
    RAF carried out vital food drops to tackle famine in Ethiopia

    As we get ready to remember the 70th anniversary of Operation Manna, former Hercules navigator Paul Hewson looks back on the humanitarian aid mission he took part in. Operation BUSHEL became one of the biggest air-drops of its kind when more than 32,000 tonnes of supplies were delivered to the starving people of Ethiopia.

  • Operation Manna
    Commemorating 70th anniversary of Operation Manna

    It was the end of World War Two and the airmen of Bomber Command that propelled humanitarian relief work into the modern era.

  • Bringing humanitarian aid to Iraq

    With thousands in need on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq, the RAF has been delivering vital humanitarian relief. RAF Hercules, the work horse aircraft of the RAF, have completed aid drops in recent nights and delivered desperately needed supplies.

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