AN RAF Lossiemouth air squadron is reporting that it is "making a difference" in Afghanistan, four weeks after local troops were posted to the troubled country.
A month into the deployment at the Kandahar Air Base, the 617 "Dambusters" Squadron has already launched its Tornado planes for 180 planned sorties and a number of air support missions in support of both British and coalition troops.
A squadron spokesperson said: "The squadron’s aircraft are already making a difference in Afghanistan, flying at three times the rate that they do at RAF Lossiemouth and this generates a significant challenge to the 101 groundcrew deployed to Kandahar.
"Working 12 hour shifts to provide 24-hours-a-day continual maintenance coverage, the groundcrew have risen to meet the challenge, ensuring that aircraft availability is as high as possible at all times."
Senior Engineering Officer, Squadron Leader Stu Clarke, praised the performance of the team so far.
"We are operating the aircraft at a much higher rate than that expected back in the UK, with a team of engineers a third smaller than we have at home," he said.
"Of course, we are all up for the challenge and relish the opportunity to provide support to troops on the ground across Afghanistan."
The squadron is scheduled to be in Afghanistan for four months altogether.