Tag Archives: RAF

Exercise Snow Eagle


Me straddling Austria and Germany after ski touring up to 1844 metres above sea level 

My name is Paul Doodson and I am currently a LAC Logs (MTD), Reserve with 501 Squadron RAuxAF.  I recently attended Ex SNOW EAGLE adventurous training exercise in Bavaria, Germany.

This year was my first experience of the Eagle scheme and it was an absolutely brilliant time that was had by all.  I and 6 other members of my Squadron joined 60+ Regular members of the RAF, all of us at different skill levels, so all getting something different from the experience.

On Ex SNOW EAGLE there are 3 different basic levels of training – Ski Foundation (SF) 1, 2 and 3:

  1. This level is for people who have never skied before. By the end of the week each person will be at a level where they can confidently stop, turn, control speed and ultimately tackle basic blue runs, more challenging red runs, and occasionally a black run.


  1. Once you have completed SF1 or have skied before and have a good competent level of ability, this group hone their skills on the slopes, advance to black runs ‘as a standard’ and prepare to advance to the next group.


  1. For the advanced skier, this group spends a lot of time skiing off piste, ski touring, undertaking avalanche training and rescue. This group gets prepared to go onto the next course which is a whole new package of training which is Ski Leadership 1, 2 and 3.

Every person I spoke to in each of these groups thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the week and all got a massive sense of achievement from their week’s work. This week was very enjoyable but don’t be fooled into thinking it is a free ski trip. Personally I was in the SF3 group and this was very physically demanding, from skiing off piste, digging in deep snow for avalanche search and rescue and most demanding was ski touring. This involves putting skins onto the bottom of the skis, detaching the heel part of your ski binding and then basically walking up the mountain. The payoff for this though is amazing views not available from the top of a ski lift and then, of course, the off piste trip back down creating fresh tracks of your own!

SNOW EAGLE is one of many different schemes that are run as adventure training; there is also mountain biking, canoeing and mountaineering. It is well worth looking on the MOSS website to find out more.



RAF Brize Norton plays host to 150 Employers

150 Employers from Oxfordshire and the surrounding area attended a business networking event held on the 13 April 2016, at RAF Brize Norton, the largest station in the Royal Air Force. The Station is home to the RAF’s Strategic and Tactical Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, as well as host to many lodger and reserve units. With its mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk 07778 334771

The event was run by South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, and 11th Infantry Brigade based in Aldershot and included a welcome from Station Commander, Group Captain Simon Edwards. This was followed by a full presentation given by Army Engagement Group explaining the role of Reservists across the Services and highlighting the key role that Employers play.

Following the presentations the Guests went airside where they had the opportunity to visit stands manned by both Regular and Reserve Forces including, 202 Field Hospital and 7 Rifles based at Abingdon, HMS Wildfire from Northwood, 501 Squadron, 4624 Squadron and 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, RAF Reserves all based at Brize Norton.

The Employers agreed that the visit had been fascinating, that they had found out a lot about how they could support employees who are or are interested in becoming Reservists and the benefits that employing Reservists could bring to the workplace.

Additionally they had the opportunity to visit and board three aircraft including the C-17 ‘Globemaster’ a long range strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft used in combat operations , peacekeeping and humanitarian missions worldwide.