CREWS from RAF Odiham have returned from a training exercise in Morocco.
Chinooks from 18 (B) and 27 Squadron accompanied the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and Merlin helicopters from RAF Benson, in Oxfordshire, to Ramram Training Area, near Marrakech.
A total of 21 crews flew the aircraft in conditions which ranged from the heat of the Sahara Desert to the cold of snow-covered mountains.
The personnel also trained with the 2me Battalion Infanterie Parachutisme, from the Moroccan Army, on the mission, called Exercise Jebel Sahara.
Chinook crews are also set to travel to Norway in February next year, for a winter and mountain flying training exercise, and more exercises are planned in the Mediterranean and Kenya.
Group Captain Andy Turner, station commander, said: “People see the Chinook as being synonymous with Afghanistan, and it is true that the majority of our work is based there.
“But being an expeditionary force, we need to ensure that we are ready for anything, anytime, anywhere, for anyone.”
He added: “Global readiness training in places like Morocco, and moving into Norway in 2009, means that when we get the call through to help support an evaluation or a relief effort, my crews can
move quickly and professionally and achieve more with less.”