Mobile Meteorological Unit
The Mobile Meteorological Unit (MMU) is a part of the United Kingdom Met Office that provides meteorological and environmental support to deployed elements of the UK’s joint forces, in order to enhance the effectiveness of national or combined contingency operations. Principally but not exclusively aviation at target, base and the route in between.
All MMU personnel are employed by the Met Office and are RAF reservists, the Unit became the first ever Sponsored Reserve Unit in the UK Armed Forces in the Autumn of 2000, incorporating a policy of making greater use of skills in the civil sector, although all members are expected to remain current with military skills as, once in theatre, they assume the same risks as any other member of Her Majesty's armed forces.
Currently located at RAF Scampton, the MMU HQ is staffed by 13 full-time personnel, with the other 55 staff based at various Met Offices across the UK and Europe. These part-time members of the MMU are Met Office personnel with jobs as forecasters, observers and engineers, and deploy as RAF Reserve personnel on operations and exercises whenever tasked.
When deployed, the MMU can quickly establish a 'temporary Met Office', using portable weather displays mirroring those used by forecasters 'back at home'. The Unit is currently deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Personnel are also expected to deploy on exercises throughout the year; in 2006, 24 exercises were supported, a typical year for the MMU. As the UK’s contribution to the NATO International Security Assistance Force mission expands during the next few months, it is likely that the Unit will deploy more personnel to Afghanistan.
The MMU contributes to the safety and effectiveness of air and aviation operations in deployed theatres, particularly in areas experiencing extreme environmental conditions. For this reason, the small but vital air combat support role filled by the MMU will continue to underpin the expeditionary capability of the UK’s air and aviation components.