The Baton Returns to Camp Bastion
17th December 2012 – March 2013
A truly memorable moment for the Baton!
After three years of the charity starting the 1st and very special Baton to be made from the handle of a stretcher used by the Medical Emergency Response Team, has returned with the RAF to where it served on the battlefield Camp Bastion Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The plan put together by members of 27 Sqn is that Baton#1 flies out to Bastion with 27 Sqn RAF who are part of the UK Chinook Force based at RAF Odiham, they will be based at Camp Bastion for the next twelve weeks to support UK Forces in their tasks.
The Baton #1 seen in the photo being handed over to Master Aircrew Andy Whelan by Alan will be placed onto the aircraft holding the IRT/MERT task and as such will return to it’s birth place, it will fly on every IRT/MERT task for the tour of 27 Sqn whilst in Helmand Province.
We know that all who have and do support the Baton will understand just how much this means to us all, especially at this time of year.
No 1 Baton Returns From Active Duty
15th May 2013
#1 Baton returns from active duty with its Log Book evoking many powerful thoughts….
On reading some of the Log Book entries I couldn’t avoid thinking about what those entries mean and just how many lives will be changed forever, plans, …hopes and dreams never to be realised as once imagined – as so often the last paragraph of the Baton’s message sums it up for me…Alan
“To the men and women of our armed forces… be assured of our pride, respect and thanks, for your professionalism, humanity and dedication to the task. Even though you may be serving in the furthest corners of the globe you will always be in our thoughts and prayers… out of sight will never be out of mind”
Master Aircrew Andy Whelan returned #1 Baton to Alan Tuesday 14th from its tour of duty during the months of December 2012 to March 2013…. #1 Baton deployed with B Flight, 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force as part of The Joint Aviation Group (JAG) based at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Andy Whelan’s earlier report…
Over that short time it would fly on more than 47 casualty extraction missions most of which would be under fire. The casualties would vary from young British troops to Afghan Security Forces to local children caught up in the war. Although 47 missions were flown many more casualties than that number were flown to the medical facilities at Bastion as in one example eight casualties were moved at once.
As B Flight packed to go back to the UK it was time for #1 Baton to get some time on the ground with the Mobile Air Operations Team (MAOT) a group of RAF and Commando MAOT who are responsible for the Helicopter Landing Sites (HLS) in the Patrol Bases (PB). Experiencing the day to day life of the young men and women in the PB such as foot patrols, vehicle patrols (fine if you are 12 inches long a little emotional when you’re 6 feet tall). Over the time with the MAOT #1 Baton visited 8 PB and the Baton message was passed to all with leaflets left for all to ponder the charities message.
As April came into view #1 was off flying again with both the Merlins of 28 Sqn RAF and the Apaches of the AAC. A busy time of daily tasking with the Merlin guys and Deliberate Ops with the Apaches.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped during the deployment of #1Baton to Helmand but especially B Flt 27 Sqn for there help and courage during their deployment…..Andy Whelan
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
21st October 2013
A photo that speaks a thousand words and the Baton paying its respect to our American allies on the famous US Marine Corps Marathon Oct 27th an example to the world of how we in the UK really care for those in our military forces, their families and friends.
This photo was taken in Afghanistan at the time of casualties being brought back in from action, the guy left of photo at the front a Royal Marine, the guy on the right front an American Corpsman, both good friends and an example of both nations working together for the common good – the stretcher the same model that the Baton’s were made from.
Baton Trustee Catherine Boulter and Alan are going to the USA – Alan was honoured to be invited to be a member of the Allied Forces Foundation SideXSide team, this Baton’s visit to the US is in recognition of our forces who have fought and died side by side, their families experiencing the same emotions and heartaches.
Explaining our cause and carrying the first Baton to be made with its message of conscience, Alan will be running with incredibly courageous and inspiring people, some who have been severely injured in the line of duty, our allies and UK forces personnel alike.
We rarely ask for sponsorship but consider this a very special occasion, please support Alan and the success of the Baton’s welfare support. In the last few months we have been able to give over £4,000 for immediate welfare support, working through SSAFA and other cases brought to our attention….Alan’s effort can be sponsored here.