On a freezing cold Wednesday in January, players from Bath Rugby Club visited RAF Brize Norton to get a taste of life in the military. In return they imparted some of their knowledge and on pitch skills to the Brize Buccaneers.
The day started with a welcome to No. 47 Squadron who currently operate the C-130J Hercules, and finished with a flight over Farleigh House, home of Bath Rugby Club.
From No. 47 Squadron, it was off to No. 47 Air Despatch Squadron who prepare all loads which are dropped from aircraft. The Bath rugby boys were put through their paces preparing a load for despatch from an aircraft. Teamwork and memory skills came into play, impressing Corporal Raukaou who said: “They managed to rig all the equipment the way they were shown, although some of them might have needed a touch up if they were going to be thrown from an aircraft.”
Next was the turn of the Brize Buccaneers to be put through their paces. A training session on the freezing cold pitch was critiqued by the Bath RC players.
Warrant Officer Tug Wilson said: “There is great enthusiasm seeing international players here. The [Brize] boys have really upped their skill levels.”
The day was rounded off with a flight in a C-130J Hercules which showcased the impressive capability of the aircraft and the specialist skills of the crew and operators.
Squadron Leader Damion Catton said: “They are a team operating at the top of what they do in sport, and we are a team operating at the top of defence. There are a lot of parallels regarding what we both do, and each side can learn a lot from each other.”
Bath Rugby team are now preparing for Saturday’s game against Pau in the European Rugby challenge Cup.