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Mov Ops (RAF) is perhaps the Branch least understood, that is in every interpretation of the word. Its term of reference is as broad as our Director's Cornish accent. In précis, it is to provide airlift in satisfaction of any cost effective operation sponsored by any one of the three Armed Services or other Government Department. It is no sinecure.

The working conditions within Mov Ops (RAF) are surely unique for the atmosphere is that of a brokers office with the occupants acting as "jobbers". From the reactions of some customers it also has its Bulls and Bears! The function is to apply management to the Royal Air Force Transport fleet utilization, having regard to both the Air Staff requirement and the stringent financial limitations. In addition it is responsible for procuring as necessary Civil aircraft on charter to the Ministry of Defence.

By the very nature of the task, Movement/Transporters have two distinct roles to play, one in war and the other in peace. For the first a Service Dress cap is proudly worn and for the latter an Airline commercial managers bowler or whatever!

[This photograph was taken in 1974 with Webmaster Tony Gale at far right. In those days we didn't have the luxury of any computers. We did have the original fax machine, where the copy to be sent was wrapped around a cylinder and took 7 minutes to transmit just one page - cutting edge technology for those days.]

Appreciating that scheduled services are flown by the Royal Air Force over recognised and well publicised routes, and furthermore that they are supported by scheduled flights operated by a civil contractor on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, the first aim will be to "fit" any sponsored and funded requirement to a scheduled outlet. By and large the scheduled services take care of routine administrative movement of both passengers and cargo.

However that is not always practical and therefore special flights have to be generated. The various actions taken on receipt of a bid for a special airlift are simple but complex, for there are many agencies to be consulted before seeking a tasking from the Air Transport Operations Branch. Firstly, the authenticity of the bid is to be proven and if affirmed, the practicality of providing airlift confirmed. The support of the Finance Branch is then required, and finally an aircraft has to be found by the operators and the route cleared, both diplomatically and for logistics support.

RAF Supply Magazine, Issue No.8, Autumn 1974