Film showing how RAF Transport Command responds to a sudden operational emergency.
Contingency planning of 'Operation Bush-fire' - a round table conference of Whitehall experts balance weight of cargo against range, ie the longest leg of the air journey, and consider probable time scales, service priorities, and political factors. "Trouble in Tombia" activates the contingency plan and air movements and load control staff work out the details. Operations staff select the route - "Old Abdul, as expected, has denied us over-fly." Preliminary route activation - reinforcing technical personnel along the flight path. Briefing and emplaning of troops. Preparation and shipment of vehicles. General characteristics of an operational airlift - men and cargo are successively transhipped from strategic to tactical transports and then to short-range aircraft and helicopters. Cardinal factors in successful air transport: ordered despatch; even flow; full use of carrying capacity; adequate control throughout. The film follows the developing operation, emphasising the role of the Mobile Air Movements Squadron, which insures proper accounting and control at each link of the chain from the UK main base to the forward air head in Tombia. Continuity is provided by an "amusing character", an Air Movements man who is present at each stage of the operation.