RAF Wittering bomb disposal officer set for Antarctica mission

Flt Lt Toby Stedham, who is going to spend two months doing research in Antarctica
Flt Lt Toby Stedham, who is going to spend two months doing research in Antarctica
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AN RAF bomb disposal officer is preparing for a slightly colder mission than usual after being picked for a two-month scientific expedition to Antarctica.

Flt Lt Toby Stedham, 28, of No 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron at RAF Wittering will join 23 other members of the armed forces in a joint trip to the South Pole in the new year.

This is the first ever joint expedition to the region by the British armed forces.

The mission has been organised to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Capt Scott’s ill-fated journey to the pole.

Flt Lt Stedham has been training hard for the trip and is looking forward to getting out there and starting work.

He said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected for the expedition having put in almost two-and-a-half years’ training.

“I feel most alive in the mountains and can’t wait to get out on the ice.

“Attempting to cross the Avery Plateau will no doubt push me to my limits and improve my reaction to stressful situations, hence developing my ability to operate as a bomb disposal officer.”

During the trip the team will carry out research into global climate change in an unexplored area of the Antarctic Peninsular.

Members will also attempt to climb a number of previously unconquered peaks.

According to an RAF statement, the team wants to preserve the long tradition of the armed services’ involvement in exploration, in particular that of polar science exploration.

They have chosen to support Help for Heroes during the trip and have already raised £10,000, but hope to increase that amount by the end of the two months.

Videos of the team can be seen on YouTube by searching for BSAE2012 and the group has a website, www.bsae2012.co.uk.