An RAF C-130 Hecules aircraft is seen taking off from Camp Bastion Airfield, Afghanistan.
The C-130 fleet are part of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing. 904 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) is the RAF Headquarters element based at Kandahar airfield, which is a strategically vital location just ten miles from Afghanistan’s second city comprising of 1.2 million people. Kandahar is one of the world’s busiest airfields, with over 400 aircraft and a quarter of a million aircraft movements every year.
It is home to a diverse mix of nations operating a vast range of platforms including RAF Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), helicopters, strategic and tactical lift such as the RAF C-130, civilian and contractor aircraft and a large number of fast jets including F16, Mirage 2000, FA-18, A-10 and the RAF Tornado GR4.
These aircraft operate in harmony to provide critical support to the Land Forces and contribute to the ISAF mission to stabilise and develop Afghanistan.
The C-130J Hercules is used in the tactical support role. It is capable of operating from unprepared austere airstrips, and operates in support of Land Forces by moving troops and delivering supplies through air drop. Both aircraft types operate extensively in support of British troops, but are also in demand across the entire operating area and will frequently support Coalition Forces across the whole of Afghanistan.