British soldiers have taken up the challenge – to sort and pack 84,000 surplus helmets bound for the Ukrainian military in two weeks flat.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment checks helmets and prepares them for packaging at MOD Donnington.
Image Sergeant Ben Beale RLC Crown Copyright 2022. 

Working from morning until night, the Cottesmore based troops are currently ensconced in a huge stores warehouse at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, where the surplus supplies have been shipped from military stores from across the UK.

The task includes physically stripping the helmets of any British Army webbing or identifying badges and packing them in crates each holding 100 of the life-saving pieces of head gear.

Sergeant (Sgt) Oliver Church, a platoon Sgt from A Company, who is co-ordinating the mission on the ground to sort, pack and despatch the helmets on time, said: “The lads are more than happy to help the cause – hopefully what we are doing will be going to help our military counterparts in Ukraine providing them with the vital protection they really need at the moment”

The slick logistical operation saw the helmets collated and processed by Team Leidos staff employed under Defence Equipment and Support’s Logistics and Services Transformation (LCST) programme.

The soldiers process up to 12,000 helmets a day packing the 100 helmets into giant cardboard boxes ready for Team Leidos to transport to Poland for onward distribution to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Due to a lack of adequate protection for members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the war in Eastern Europe in 2014, hundreds of Mk7 helmets were purchased in the UK and used by the Ukrainian service personnel, together with earlier Mk6 and Mk6A helmets.

The 2nd Royal Anglian troops, who are recruited from across the counties of the East of England and East Midlands including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire, are a Light Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

They are currently the United Kingdom Standby Battalion (UKSB) ready to deploy at short notice to anywhere in the world they are needed.

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