Never Not Ready
Parachute Teams in the Middle and Near East Air Force
In 1954 a parachute deployable Medical Team was formed in Egypt which later moved to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. This Team included RAF Regiment Signallers.
Members of this Team jumped onto the island of Kastellorizo in 1962 in order to aid a critically ill woman.
In 1960 a parachute deployable Special Safety Team was formed from 3 Wing RAF Regiment following the crash landing of an aircraft carrying nuclear material on the Turkish/Russian border. The following year 5 Wing RAF Regiment also formed its own Parachute Team.
- In 1964 the Parachute Medical Team and the 3 WIng Parachute Team combined to form the Parachute Rescue Force. This later became two separate Teams again in the 1970s, possibly following the deployment of nuclear armed Vulcan bombers at RAF Akrotiri.
- In 1967 the Team were stood to, awaiting the order to jump into the sea in order to assist any survivors from a crashed BEA Comet. No survivors were located. The crash was suspected to have been caused by a terrorist explosive device. The casualties included personnel and their families from RAF Akrotiri.
- Some members of the RAF Khormaksar, RAF Sharjah, RAF Nicosia and RAF Akrotiri Mountain Rescue Teams were also trained as parachutists. Some of these personnel were RAF Regiment Gunners.
(Photos - Paul Cormack/Tony Bidmead/Brian Deeley)