RAF100 mountaineers to share adventure via Inmarsat

Inmarsat is supporting a special mountaineering expedition to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

A team ranging from teenage air cadets to a Group Captain is preparing to take on the challenge in the Himalayas as the main event of the RAF100 campaign. A range of satellite communication equipment will allow them to stay connected and share the experience on social media. The team is seen in our video being trained on using the kit.

Himalayan Venture 18 (HV18) will see up to 83 RAF personnel travel to the Rolwaling and Khumbu regions of the Nepalese Himalayan range at the end of August for a three-week expedition in one of the most beautiful yet challenging environments in the world.

First ascent

HV18 is formed of an Alpine group and four trekking teams. The Alpine team comprises experienced serving and veteran mountaineers who will be attempting the first British ascent of Mt Langdung (20,856ft/6357m) while the trekking teams will each be taking different routes but all attempting the challenging crossing of the Tesi Lapcha pass at 18,865 feet (5,750m).

Inmarsat will supply all the communications equipment they need: a Paradigm Swarm45 Global Xpress terminal for high-speed data connectivity from base camp, and to stay connected and share their stories from the mountain slopes and remote trails, an ultra-portable Cobham Explorer 510 BGAN terminal; Wideye iSavi IsatHub terminals to use with their own smart devices; and IsatPhone 2 satellite phones with built-in safety features including GPS tracking and assistance.

Expedition Communications Project Office, Sqn Ldr Gordon Henderson said: “Operating in the Rolwaling and Khumbu Valley will present significant challenges for communications and Inmarsat has once again stepped forward to help the RAF achieve its ambitious goals.

Stay safe

“By utilising the range of equipment provided we will not only be able to ensure our teams stay safe but also allow the whole RAF family to come with us on the journey through social media updates and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) events.”

This is the first time the entire RAF has been united for a single expedition and will commemorate not only 100 years since the formation of the world’s first independent air force but also the 70th anniversary of the RAF Mountaineering Association and the 75th anniversary of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service.