The first recorded use of a mobile darkroom, the forerunner to the military Mobile Photographic Units (MPU), was employed by a famous photographer named Roger Fenton who supported the British Army during the Crimean war in 1853.
Not until World War One did we see the use of MPU's on the battlefield again, which during World War Two became known as Mobile Field Photographic Sections (MFPS) and later transformed into Mobile Field Photographic Units (MFPU) during the Cold War and again to Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (RIC) in the 1970s. This remained until 2003, when the RICs were united into the Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing (TIW), which finally converted to 1 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaisance Wing in 2016.
"RICs" from the past, starting in WW1 then on to 2011. (Ian Stannett)
Tactical Reconnaissance Units (Ian Stannett)
The mobile MFPS. The Trailers were known as J Class Trailers and all the vehicles collectively were called the Blue Train. Named after a blue train that ran across Europe similar to the orient express before the war.
As you can see there were Processor and Printer trailers along with many support vehicles.
The Tractor pulling the J Class trailers were generally Austin K5 3 Ton GS or Bedford OYD 3 Ton GS. (Ian Stannett)
Photographic Interpreters (Ian Stannett)
Ian Stannett successfully raised enough money to facilitate the refurbishment of 6 ATREL cabins, used by the RIC. (Crowdfunder).
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