Page 3 Royal Air Force NEWS Mar 17 2006. TRISTARS SET UP AFGAN AIRBRIDGE Below is an extract from the RAF news exalting the daring deed of our illustrious colleagues in light blue. â Tristar crews from Brize Norton-based 216 Sqn have begun missions into Afghanistan in support of coalition operations. â The Squadron Commander's interview shows the hardship that the crews are forced to endure. â We have around 490 people on the Sqn and 90 per cent of them are deployable. Operational deployments are a way of life on the squadron and living in a tent in Basrah has become a weekly experience fro many on the Squadronâ â Itâs a surreal experience for personnel to leave their homes and families to fly into a high threat operational environment in a matter of hours, only to return home a day laterâ â To endue that lifestyle for the last 12 months and for the foreseeable future is a challenge. But it is one that the squadronâs personnel have met with professionalism. âIt is not to say for the servicemen who complete four months that their duty does not bring its own demands. But to keep mixing the operational and domestic environments can be hard. I have posted this in the Naffi forum to help ensure the gallant sacrifices that the pilots and crew must be enduring are widely acknowledged by a wide army audience.