Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and none more so than the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. From a UK perspective, where the NHS usually supports the Armed Forces in times of crisis, currently it is the Armed Forces providing essential support to key workers on the front line. Operation RESCRIPT is the UK military’s response to the pandemic and includes the mobilisation of Royal Air Force Reservist personnel.
Volunteering for the RAF Reserves
Many of our customers may not be aware that Guy Rossler, a Support and Implementation Engineer in our Malmesbury office, is also a Senior Aircraftman in the RAF Reserves. Based at RAF Brize Norton, his squadron, No. 4624 (County of Oxford), is the only Movements squadron within the Reserves, and normally employs its specialist personnel to handle and move freight and passengers worldwide.
The very specialist training this requires is a significant commitment and takes up a large part of his spare time and holidays. However, during the lockdown 4624 Squadron stepped outside its usual role to mobilise 21 reservists for Operation RESCRIPT.
Helping in the fight against COVID-19
Initially held on 48 hours stand-by as part of the high-readiness contingency force, an element of the wider RAF contribution to MOD support to the NHS, 20 personnel including Guy, have recently assumed responsibility for mobile testing of COVID-19 in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire working alongside personnel from 606 Sqn, RAF Benson.
“Shortly after we all started working from home back in March, 4624 Squadron members received a call for availability to mobilise in support of the British Military's Military Aid to Civilian Authorities (MACA) role, in order to build a Covid Support Force (CSF). I discussed this with Charlie (Armor, Realtime Despatch’s Managing Director) and received his and the team's wholehearted support to put myself forward to do my bit,” says Guy. “I may have joined the RAF Reserves to be a mover, but our underlying duty is to step up where possible in our nation's time of need and serve.”
Stepping up and supporting the nation in its time of need
Guy’s volunteer role looks set to continue for at least another month, and he’s currently expected to return to the office in August or September.
I'm humbled and privileged to be a part of a team doing our bit for the UK's COVID-19 response. Let's face it, even a few months ago none of us expected to be where we are now. Thank you Charlie, Phil (Zoio, Director and CTO) and the team at Realtime Despatch for your continued support. Know that this is also recognised and appreciated by 4624 Squadron and the wider Royal Auxiliary Airforce (RAuxAF).”
“Doesn’t he look good in a pinny? Seeing pictures of Guy in his combats and PPE brings home the importance of the work he’s doing,” says Charlie. “We’re very proud to be able to support Guy in his role and are full of admiration for the selfless work he and the other reservists are engaged in,” he concludes.
Image credits: Richard Burt.