The Ruislip Residents’ Association has representation on the RAF Northolt Community Liaison Group. The Group consists of Local Councillors, Residents' Associations and other interested Partners. The Group meets at least twice a year to be informed of developments at the base, matters of concern and general issues that affect local communities.RAF Northolt website: http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafnortholt/
Statement issued by RAF Northolt, 26th April 2012
How are the military contributing to the Olympics?
The safety and security of the Olympic and Paralympics Games and those taking part, including London residents, is paramount, which is why, the Secretary of State announced last year the deployment of military units to London to support the overall security plan. ··These include Typhoon aircraft, HMS Ocean, helicopters, Marine units on the Thames and Ground Based Air Defence systems.
Similar capabilities have been made available at every Olympic Games since the Atlanta Games in 1996.· ·At the time, he stated that the Services would support the Police in providing security on the Thames, in the Air over London and at Games venues.
What is RAF Northolt’s role?
At the end of 2011 the Secretary of State announced that Typhoon fast jets would be forward based at RAF Northolt to provide a Quick Reaction Alert force to protect the airspace over London. In addition Sea King early warning helicopters and some Army support elements will be accommodated at the base.What is the Defence Live Exercise?
In preparation for the deployment, it will be necessary for the crews to conduct familiarisation flights. ··These familiarisation flights will take place during a live exercise which will take place from 2nd to 10th May.
This live exercise will allow testing of all the parts of the plan which involve the Armed Forces in their role during the Games.· ·Helicopters and supporting crews will also operate from Ilford Territorial Army Centre for an as yet undecided part of that exercise.Flying at RAF Northolt
- Typhoon – Typhoon jets will arrive at RAF Northolt in the afternoon of 2 May for the Live Exercise and depart on 10 May. ··They will return in mid-July for the Olympic period. ··During 2-10 May Typhoons will fly regularly in order to train the pilots in safe operation from RAF Northolt. ··Flying during the actual Olympic period is expected to be far less frequent as the Typhoon force will be primarily reactive to any incident.- Sea King – The Royal Navy Sea King air surveillance helicopters will exercise their role throughout 2-10 May and are expected to fly occasionally. ··Due to their role they will get airborne quickly and operate at high level over London.
- Islander – The Islander will continue to fly as required.- 32 (The Royal) Squadron – 32 (The Royal) Squadron will continue to operate from RAF Northolt.
- Commercial Aircraft – The number of movements at all airports in the London area is being carefully controlled and centrally coordinated during the Olympic period. ··Due to the increased military flying from RAF Northolt the number of commercial flights is expected to decrease over the period. ·It is anticipated that some national delegations and Heads of State will use RAF Northolt to attend the Games.Noise
It is regretted that some residents close to the perimeter of RAF Northolt have been disturbed by construction works and machinery delivering some of the necessary safety measures to allow Typhoons and other elements to operate from the base. ··Measures have been taken, wherever possible, to reschedule night works away from the fence-line and to restrict works after 1100pm.The operation of Typhoons·from RAF Northolt will inevitably cause some disturbance due to the engines being much noisier than the aircraft that normally operate from the base.· ·Whilst some flying after dark will be necessary, flying for the Live Exercise will not normally continue beyond 1100pm and will be restricted to a small number of take-off and landings. ·Flying during the Olympics will be mainly reactive and infrequent although it may happen at any time of day or night.· ·In extreme circumstances, Typhoons are cleared for supersonic flight, but this is only allowed when the aircraft is at high altitude and not in the proximity of Northolt.
In order to ensure the safety of pedestrians and road users from jet engine exhaust, it has been necessary to remove a 60m section of hedge on the West End Road and replace with specialist fencing with an inner mesh that is designed to dissipate the jet exhaust and, in the unlikely event, capture any debris that is blown backwards.· ·As an added measure, the eastern Runway Arrestor Bed has been temporarily turfed, but will maintain the same aircraft stopping characteristics. Working with both the London Borough of Hillingdon and Transport for London we have agreed special signage that will be placed along the West End Road and A40 to alert both pedestrians and road users to unusual and noisy air activity.Will there be an opportunity for local people to visit and see the aircraft?
The support of local people for the Royal Air Force and RAF Northolt in particular is greatly appreciated and the fact that the base has existed since early 1915 means that a close bond has developed. ··To thank the community for their understanding during the Live Exercise it is planned to allow pre-booked visitors onto the base on the morning of 10 May to view the Typhoon and other aircraft. ··Access to this event will be booked through local residents associations, Councillors and schools. ··Details will be published through community representatives and on the RAF Northolt website. ··Typhoon pilots and personnel from RAF Northolt will be available during this event to answer questions relating to our role in support of the Olympic Air Security Plan.When will things return to “normal”?
The Live Exercise will run from 2nd May to 10th May and local people will notice some intense periods of flying activity throughout the exercise. ··After the exercise, Typhoons will depart and activity will revert to a more normal level. ··However, in the build up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games the level of activity will increase again and is expected to return to normal in mid-September once the Paralympic Games conclude.Personnel at RAF Northolt will keep local representatives advised of any significant changes to the planned key dates or events.
If you would like further information, please visit websites at:www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/InDepth/OperationOlympicsDefenceSupportToLondon2012.htm
Group Captain Tim O'Brien was born in 1968 and educated at Worth School in Sussex. He was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1991 and, following flying training, he joined Number 101 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in 1997, qualifying on the VC10 in the Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) role. During his first tour, he was involved in a variety of worldwide exercises and also flew in support of operations over Kosovo.
In 2000, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and became a Flight Commander on 10 Squadron, again flying the VC10 but with the additional role of Air Transport. During this tour, he supported operations in Sierra Leone, and deployed to Seeb in Oman flying AAR operations over Afghanistan. He also commanded the Op TELIC Aeromedical Detachment which enabled the recovery of over 1000 casualties from Kuwait and Iraq.
In 2003, he was appointed as Personal Staff Officer to Air Officer Commanding No 2 Group who was responsible for all RAF Air Transport, AAR, ISTAR and Fighter Control assets in addition to the RAF Regiment.
In 2005, he was promoted to Wing Commander and attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College where he completed a Masters Degree in International Relations and Military Studies. Following Staff College, he commanded Number 902 Expeditionary Air Wing at Seeb, tasked with providing ISTAR and AAR support over Afghanistan. He then took command of Number 101 Squadron during which he conducted a number of operational deployments in support of Operations TELIC and HERRICK. Following Squadron Command, he was posted to the Ministry of Defence as the Air Environment specialist in the Operations Directorate and was involved in a number of contingent operations including Op DEFERENCE and the early stages of Op ELLAMY. He was subsequently promoted and takes command of RAF Northolt in May 2011.
His interests include most sports and reading. He is a particularly keen follower of England’s rugby team, and keeps fit although this can occasionally conflict with his passion for cooking. He is married to Katherine and has four children, William (12), Emily (9), Anna (2) and Laura (4 months).