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Click here to read '47 times around the World' which appeared in the RAF News December 2011

Click here to read 'Kings of the Road' which appeared in the RAF News April 2011

Click here
to read the 2MT article which appeared in the April 2008 edition of Heritage Commercials

The History of No 2 MT Squadron.

No. 2 MT Squadron
Mission Statement

No. 2 MT Squadron is operationally focused
and dedicated to excellence in all aspects
of road transport logistics support for the
Royal Air Force

Original Formation

No 2 MT Coy formed 16 July 1940

Original offices - Kings' College, Cambridge

Unit strength of 22 Officers & 303
Airmen by 1945

Sqn Crest of Elephant & Log

Elephant identifies heavy transport

Golden log denotes value of loads entrusted to Sqn

Motto translates:
'Wherever you may wish to carry something'

Post-war movements

1946 - Coy moved to Leicester East

1947 - Moved to RAF Warton, under 9MU
Work mainly connected with Liverpool docks
& American ships at this time

1949 - Moved to RAF Bicester with first
detached unit at Stafford

1954 - Moved to RAF Lichfield & Sqn status achieved

1958 - Move to RAF Stafford

HGV Driving School run until 1981

1992-98 Sqn disbanded to become No 2 MT Flt

10 Aug 1998 - Sqn Status reinstated

2005 - Move to RAF Wittering

Involvement in Current Operations


1982 - moved 2.5 million tonnes
in support of Falklands conflict

1990/91 - support to Op GRANBY

2003 - support to Op TELIC


Ongoing support to many Ops including:

Op RESINATE (North & South)


Op PALLANTINE (Banja Luka)



OP VERITAS (Afghanistan)

Op TELIC (Kuwait / Iraq)

Current manning

5 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, 5 FS,
19 SNCO's & 214 Airmen & 3 Civilians

Current Establishment 82 Heads & 81 Trls


4 x Goosenecks

2 x Ext Low Loader

14 x Tankers

Tasking decided through RTAC

Cat 1: Support to Operations
Cat 2: Support to Trg/Exercises
Cat 3: Other RAF Tasking
Cat 4: Non RAF Tasking


2MT Timeline
Please feel free to email me if you can add or correct any of the timeline


1940 No 2 MT Coy formed 16 July 1940. Original offices - Kings College, Cambridge.

1942 After the Battle of Britain they moved all of 242 Squadron's equipment and stores from RAF Debden to RAF Martlesham Heath, later this year they moved all 257 Squadron's equipment from RAF Martlesham Heath to RAF North Weald, along with other duties 1942 also saw 2MT helping out with the sugar beet harvest at Duxford due to a lack of farm workers.

1943 October record books show 63,070 miles and 1,200 tons of freight with no loss of of man hours to air raids.

1945 Unit moved to RAF Stow-cum-Quay - strength of 22 Officers & 303 Airmen - mileage covered was recorded as 194,000/month & 4145 tons of freight.


1946 Coy moved to Leicester East 10 Officers & 364 Airmen.

1947 Moved to RAF Warton, under 9MU. Work mainly connected with Liverpool docks & American ships at this time.

1949 Moved to RAF Bicester with detached units at Stafford, Bottesford, Harby, Warton, and Handforth.

1954 Moved to RAF Lichfield & Squadron's status achieved 1st June 5 Officers & 210 Airmen.

1957 Queen approves squadron crest in April.

1958 Move to RAF Stafford in March.

1969 Supported Op BANNER - Northern Ireland 1969 - 2007).

1981 HGV Driving School closed.

1982 Moved 2.5 million tonnes in support of Falklands conflict - In December a unit, trailer and cargo were lost after the Townsend Thoreson ferry "European Gateway" collided with a British Rail Ferry in Felixstowe harbour, the driver survived.

1988 Supported Op PALLANTINE - Bosnia (1988 - 1989).

1990 1990/91 - support to Op GRANBY.

1991 Supported Op RESINATE (North & South) (2001 - 2003).

1992 No 2 (MT) Squadron's disbanded on 14th May, drivers, vehicles and control reformed as No 2 Mechanical Transport Flight part of No 16MU.

1998 10th Aug 1998 - Squadron's Status reinstated.

2002 Supported Op VERITAS - Afghanistan (2002 - 2014) Op FRESCO UK firemen's Dispute (2002 - 2003).

2003 Support to Op TELIC - Iraq / Kuwait (2003 - 2011) 126 personnel and 100 vehicles sent to the middle east in February 2004.

2004 5 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, 5 FS, 19 SNCO's & 214 Airmen & 3 Civilians. Current Establishment 82 Heads & 81 Trailers.

2006 Move to RAF Wittering after 48 years at Stafford.

Reproduced by kind permission of the RAF News
Reporter: Dylan Eklund
Pictures: SAC Adam Fletcher

47 times around the World
with 2MT Sqn

misc124.jpg (382767 bytes)

As the final RAF vehicle convoys came home from Italy after the end of Operation ELLAMY, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton welcomed them back to RAF Wittering; thanking personnel from the A4 (Logistics) Force for their role in supporting air operations.

During Op ELLAMY, No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron (2 MTS) vehicles drove 1,169,986 miles, equivalent to travelling around the equator more than 47 times, carrying 8540 tonnes of freight - the equivalent of 813 Hercules aircraft loads.

Sir Stephen took the opportunity to chat with the drivers and get a first-hand account of the challenges they faced. 2MTS suffered the only operational fatality of the Operation with the sad loss of SAC James Smart who was involved in a RTA as his convoy was transiting through southern Italy.

During the two-hour visit, Sir Stephen took the opportunity to drive an Oshkosh Close Support Tanker (adorned with a 4-star plate), before visiting the No 2 MTS Operations Room, No 5001 Squadron's Station Engineering Flight and No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron.

Addressing personnel, Sir Stephen said:

"I think there's no question that without the support units here, whether it be 2MT, the hangar erectors, the people who keep everything going and those who keep us fed in various parts of the world recently, we would not have been able to be as effective as we have been."

For Sgt Wayne Merrix, this convoy was his last before leaving the RAF. His final trip retraced the steps of his first journey with the Squadron more than a decade ago.

"My first encounter with the Squadron was 12 years ago when I travelled down with themmisc126.jpg (161916 bytes) to Gioia Del Colle and my last trip with 2 MT was to the same destination" he said.

The journeys to and from Southern Italy ferried cargos varying from to explosive ordnance to aircraft wheels.

"It's quite a lonely trip, four days there, four days back," said Sgt Merrix. "It's a challenge to do 4000 miles on your own and maintain the level of concentrations you have to apply. We do stop regularly but on the continent it can be difficult sometimes to find somewhere to park 10 trucks overnight."

Gp Capt Richard Hill, A4 (Logistics) Force Commander and Stn Cdr RAF Wittering summarised the performance of his personnel:

misc125.jpg (225887 bytes)"Op ELLAMY represented the first time for many years that the RAF has undertaken an expeditionary operation. The role played by units and personnel from the A4 Force was crucial in delivering, at pace and over extended lines of communication, many of the logistics and supporting services necessary to enable the operation. I am extremely proud of the contribution that the A4 Force has made, and delighted that CAS took the time and trouble to visit RAF Wittering and pass on his personal appreciation to a cross-section of the personnel who had been involved. Op ELLAMY has again highlighted the importance of logistic support and underlined the role of the A4 Force as the RAF's logistic enabler for deployed operations. We will continue to refine the level and types of support we provide, and continue to develop/enhance the working relationship we have with HQ Air Cmd, and the Expeditionary Air Wings, such that we are able to meet whatever challenges may arise in the future."

Reproduced by kind permission of the RAF News
Reporter: Neale Adams
Pictures: SAC Adam Fletcher

misc122.jpg (44098 bytes)
Fitters from 5001SEF

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2MT trucks on their way to
Gioia del Colle in Italy

If ever there were Kings of the Road in the RAF it would be 2MT Sqn at Wittering.

  To date, in support of Operation Ellamy, Squadron personnel have travelled the equivalent distance of eight times around the world and transported 2860 tonnes of kit down to the airfield at Gioia del Colle in southern Italy to support 906 EAW.misc121.jpg (45490 bytes)
  In the hours following the passing of UN SCR 1973 2 MT personnel who had been deployed to support Op Southern Mistral (a flying exercise in Nancy, France, involving Tornados andthe French Mirage) were re-routed south and the equipment carried in a 20-vehicle convoy.
  A second convoy of 21 articulated lorries was rapidly readied back in the UK with kit collected from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham, and the convoy left from 2 MT's base, RAF Wittering, on March 20 - six days after the first convoy left Nancy.
  The high-value equipment being transported included generators, air start trolleys, drop tanks, hydraulic rigs and weapon loaders for the Typhoon and Tornado aircraft that are policing the No-Fly zone over Lybya in a bid to protect the country's civilian population from attacks by Colonel Gaddafi.
  Convoy Commander Sgt Andy Lewis said: "The Squadron does a lot of convoys of this nature, but mainly to support the defence exercise programme. We went from supporting an exercise in France to supporting an operation".
  "Everything changed and the speed and the tempo went up. Usually we would have months to prepare for an exercise, but for this (Ellamy) it was a matter of hours. I was given 36 hours notification. It was a big undertaking, but there was a real buzz around the station as the guys were preparing vehicles, getting jabs at the med centre and convoy commanders were getting their briefings".
  Taking so many trucks on the road at any one time also had to be meticulously planned out, including paying road tolls, taking rests and refuelling - that would take anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour and a half.
  The convoys were escorted through Italy by the Italian Carabinieri (police). The trip from the UK to Gioia del Colle took four days.
  Electrician Cpl Simon Vaughan, of 5001 Squadron that supports 2 MT, performed one of the quickest battery changes of his service career during one convoy.
  He said: "We had just entered Italy and the lead vehicle's battery had packed up. It was a single carriage slip-road and cars were backing up behind the convoy, with an Italian policeman waving us on".
  "Usually a battery change would take about 15 minutes, we did it in under five. Fortunately we had a spare battery that had been put on as spares at the last minute." The 5001 Sqn fitters would work through the night repairing any vehicles to ensure they were ready for the next days drive.
  During the peak of getting equipment down to Gioia del Colle, of the 155 personnel in 2 MT, at one point only 30 were left at RAF Wittering. Some are still employed in Italy and France maintaining the sustainment supply convoys that continue to leave RAF Wittering on a regular basis.

Ted Angus sent in this article which appeared in the April '08' edition of Heritage Commercials written by David Craggs.

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