Final flypast over Portsmouth for Sea King helicopters
Five Junglie Sea King Mk4 helicopters from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) performed a final flypast over the south of England on the 21st March as a salute and fond farewell to the people and places that know it so well.
Based at RNAS Yeovilton, the aircraft took off on Monday morning on a 475-mile route that took them over Salisbury, Andover, Portsmouth, the Jurassic Coast, and on to Dartmouth and Plymouth before heading north to Bristol. The final leg of the six-hour flight took the five-strong formation past Glastonbury Tor - where the Sea Kings tipped a wing in acknowledgment of the scores of people who climbed to the top of the 518ft hill - and paid their final respects to Yeovil, where the helicopters were built, before returning to their home of some 37 years.
Commander Gavin Simmonite DFC, the final commanding officer of 848 Naval Air Squadron, said: “The Sea King has been a wonderful workhorse - It is a great pleasure to fly. It’s an aircraft that has created a thousand memories for the aircrews who have flown it and for those on the ground watching it go about its business. It just doesn’t get any better!”
The iconic green Sea King will go out of service on 31st March 2016. The aircraft have seen service in most major theatres of conflict where British forces have been deployed since 1980; in particular it will be remembered for its work during the Falklands conflict, Sierra Leone, Iraq, and latterly Afghanistan. The mighty Sea King will also be remembered by many for its work with the United Nations in Bosnia and its humanitarian support work in the Lebanon, West Africa, Philippines, and the Caribbean.
Although 848 Naval Air Squadron is to disband, the mantle and legacy of the Sea King will be picked up and carried forward by the Merlin, which is already in service with the Commando Helicopter Force. The Merlin has big boots to fill as the Sea King has made a particular mark in the psyche of the Fleet Air Arm and Commando Helicopter Force.
Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) currently consists of three Naval Air Squadrons (NAS); 845, 846 and 847 NAS.The Sea King Mk4 aircraft of the Commando Helicopter Force will retire from service on 31 March 2016. Its replacement, the Merlin Mk4 will be derived from Merlin Mk3 airframes currently in service with 846 NAS and 28 Sqn Royal Air Force at RAF Benson and will be operated by 845 NAS and 846 NAS when fully transferred from the RAF. 847 NAS operate the Wildcat AH1.
The Naval Air Squadrons of Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) are integrated under the command of a Headquarters, established to operate helicopters afloat or ashore in support of the UK armed forces. It is a combined Royal Navy and Royal Marine force that flies Sea King, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters that specialises in amphibious warfare.
The pilots are well-trained as they combine commando combat and survival skills with advanced flying skills. They operate Sea King, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters in extreme climates and conditions and their ability to work in terrain ranging from arctic to tropical jungle is second to none. Operations in Borneo in the 1960s earned them the moniker ‘Junglies’ from the troops on the ground, which current and veteran Junglies covet to this day.
CHF’s home base is RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, with 846 NAS based in RAF Benson until 2015, but all the squadrons deploy regularly on exercises and detachments around the world.
From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #022616
Many thanks for yet another outstanding OBA OBB ... though I'll be waiting for the brickbats from my many other movements teams and associated mobs over the last 50 years regarding my nomination of MATU ALT1 as 'The Best'.
Just one quick response (riposte?) to David Powell ref the date(s) of the final closure of RAF Gong Kedak. I'm afraid that it definitely was in 1966; 2nd - 11th September 1966 to be exact. I didn't leave RAF Labuan to join FEAF MAMS at Seletar until 30th June 1966 (on 215 Sqn Argosy XC496, captained by FltLt Adams*). My first MAMS task was as already reported, the de-activation of Kuantan 1st - 26th August 1966. The Gong Kedak task followed almost immediately after we got back to Seletar off the Kuantan job. Don't know what happened at/to Gong Kedak after David's time there in 1965, but it was most definitely the autumn of 1966 when we finally shut the gate on the one old Indian caretaker and his roving tiger mate.
*Sorry David, but my Log Book and I are anal about such dates and times. This anal attention to detail once saved me from some very uncomfortable questioning regarding a murder that took place near RAF Abingdon in September 1974, but that is yet another story.
From: Jimmie Durkin, Stafford Subject: The Funeral of Graham Flanagan
I attended the funeral of Graham on March 4th at Stafford Crematorium. As we entered a record of a military band played "The Last Post." It was very soothing.
He got the send-off he would have liked - the church was about 75% full; the service being conducted by a female priest who led us superbly with "Abide With Me" and the second hymn, "Local Hero!"
The young man alongside me sobbed at times and we both sat up sharply when the priest mentioned how proud Graham was of the forces, being an avid collector of services' memorabilia, but was mostly very proud of his own time with RAF Air Movements.
The RAFA Honour Party saluted him as the curtain closed. After the blessing the priest announced the invitation to the Staffordshire Bull public house for the wake and pointed out the collection plate for "Help the Heroes" which was filling up rapidly.
As we stood to leave, there were lots of smiles and giggles as the song "Blaydon Races" rang out in full Geordie brogue; Graham could not have done it better!
Please tell me that I'm not the only one who didn't know you're supposed to crumble an Oxo cube while it's still wrapped to create a little flavour packet?
I feel like my whole life has been a lie. All those crumbly messes I could have avoided!
From: Thomas Geoghegan, Folkestone, Kent Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #022616
Another interesting issue from you; amazing how every now and then someone comes up with something that is of personal interest to myself.
Referring to Tony Street's "My Concorde Story," unless I am mistaken, in the flight deck photograph, I believe the person occupying the right hand seat is Barbara Harmer, at that time senior first officer and British Airways' only female pilot on type. Wonderful lady, great story, trained to become a pilot at her own expense and took many licences to end up in the right hand seat on the Concorde. Unusual because BA have a policy of only BA trained taken on as flying crew.
Later Barbara became a Boeing 777 captain but alas she passed away at a very early age. I am sure you will be aware of various investigations regarding recirculated air, more than one of our aircrew have suffered and some have died at a very young age, anyway that's another story still awaiting a verdict.
I only had the pleasure of meeting Barbara once when we both were being security checked on the way into Terminal Four. Should know the Flight Engineer but memory is not what it used to be. Just days before retiring I assisted in putting Concorde G-BOAB into Technical Block A for the final time. The aircraft was destined for a special building in the new Terminal Five but for reasons beyond my pay scale it was not to be.
Great piece of aviation history and I was there a few times, got to know some brilliant Engineering staff from the Concorde era, most of whom ended up with us in the Boeing 747 hangars and I made many good friendships. Thanks again Tony.
(G-BOAB: Grounded permanently in August of 2000, British Airways’ G-BOAB now resides somewhere on the grounds of Heathrow Airport in London, but has no permanent home.)
From: Ian Berry, West Swindon Subject: Concorde - Been there, done that!
Okay, I've been provoked into writing a story...
In 1975 I was stationed at the Air Booking Centre based at the Air HQ Singapore at Woodlands (Sembawang) and living in Terror Barracks. I was running the Commercial Air Desk at the time and had day to day dealings with British Airways, Cathay and the like.
During August one of the production models of Concorde (G-BOAC) was based at Paya Lebar Airport in Singapore to carry out tropical trials. Some of the aircraft contained test equipment but a majority of the seats (not leather at this time!) were left fitted. At this stage there were nearly 20 Airlines who had placed orders for the type. As well as carrying out flight trials British Aerospace took the opportunity to allow several Airlines to allow their cabin staff “live” training on board during the flights.
To this end 20 passengers were carried on each flight to act as “guinea pigs!” We had heard that a few RAF servicemen from RAF Tengah had actually flown on Concorde under this guise.
Somewhat rattled I contacted Mike Kincaid of British Airways who was the Far East Station Manager and politely suggested as I/We put a lot of business their way why weren’t we considered for a flight? As easy as that our office were allocated two seats.
Winning the seats had no sway in getting one of the two though and we drew lots to be fair. Fortunately for me I was one of the two winners, the other being Alan Roper. We were allocated to a flight departing Paya Lebar on the 20th of that month and had to report in the very early hours of the morning!
On the day we patiently waited for the couple in front of us to be dealt with and then much to our annoyance a gentleman in a suit walked past us straight to the desk. We were ready to remonstrate when we heard the G round Staff say “Mr Trubshaw”.... it was the Test Pilot! Once on board we were allocated seats and the aircraft quickly taxied for a short hop to Kuala Lumpur (35 minutes subsonic). The take off though was one to be remembered... the thrust and acceleration I have never encountered before or since apart from a ride in Disney World.
We stayed on the ground at KL for an hour before another fantastic take off and headed for Bahrain. I must admit we both nodded off and when we awoke the Steward was asking us if we wanted some champagne? We both looked at each other thinking “How much is this going to cost?” I think the Steward noticed our discomfort and said “It’s on the house!” After our second glass he came back and deposited a full bottle on my table saying “I ain’t gonna run after you two guys all morning!”
We were waited on hand and foot by cabin staff from several airlines and also “plied” with the finest liquors. It certainly beat the Air Support Command fare at that time.
The flight was smooth and very impressive. As Tony Street said in the last article we too witnessed a colour of blue never seen by most of the human race. At 62,000 feet the sky turns a very dark blue and you can actually see the curvature of the Earth, what a privilege. There is also the mandatory machmeter on the forward cabin wall and it did read mach 2.2 - twice the speed of sound.
My logbook shows the flight time from KL to Bahrain as 3 hours 30 minutes and most of that was supersonic. After two hours on the ground in Bahrain we set off again this time heading East to Bombay. To get things further in perspective, when we left Paya Lebar there was a Quantas B747 departing at the same time. Some 8 hours 30 minutes later we passed it taxiing into Bahrain as we departed!
I’d been to Bombay (now renamed Mumbai) before on a Belfast on the way down to Goa to deliver Sea King helicopters. This time though the sides of the runway were still littered with the wreckage of an Air France B747 which had burnt out some two months before after a brake fire escalated! Other things hadn’t changed though as the Indian Authorities predictably demanded reams of documentation and identity checks...
After a 90 minute ground stop we were once again on our way going supersonic back to Paya Lebar where we arrived some three hours later. All this time we were plied with drinks and treats and so on arrival we were definitely worse for wear. What a fantastic experience though and the trip of a lifetime. It’s also a type in my logbook that gets attention.
Some days later I got a letter from my future wife of the time saying they had seen Concorde flying near London. She was not too impressed when I replied that I had 9 hours flying time in it and had been all around the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf in it from Singapore on a day out!
The production model I flew in, G-BOAC spent many years flying in the British Airways colours before enforced retirement. It now resides at Manchester Airport. It is so sad that this fantastic aeroplane is no longer operating.
Defence Force returns from Antarctic mission
An Antarctic summer is over once more for the Defence Force. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 touched down in Christchurch last night - onboard were the remaining 22 personnel from this season's contingent. They have been based in Antarctica for two months.
Operation Antarctica is a joint effort between the Navy, Army, Air Force with up to 220 personnel deployed during the October to February summer season. This year 60 Army soldiers and logistics specialists helped unload the annual container ship which provides McMurdo Station and Scott Base with a year’s supply of science equipment, food, and construction materials that's needed to sustain researchers in one of the world’s most inhospitable laboratories.
Deputy Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy says since 1965 the Defence Force has been supporting New Zealand and American scientists as they carry out important research on the ice. An RNZAF Boeing 757 will complete one last flight in early April before the winter season officially starts.
From: John Guy, Northampton Subject: The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God
The new rendition of The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God in the latest newsletter certainly gave me cause to chuckle, quite a bit!
As a “very old timer” I recall hearing the original monologue on our “wireless”, this was in the days before television, or radios. I have no idea of its origin, but it was delivered as serious entertainment at the time.
John Gulf MAMS NEAF MAMS RAFMS
From: Frank Lightfoot, Glasgow Subject: FEAF MAMS
If I may, I'd like to make an observation. On your website pages (Operations Record Book - Five Forty http://ukmamsoba.org/orb.html) the taskings for UK MAMS in the Far East are shown but those for FEAF MAMS are few. It would seem that we were the forgotten band of happy movers.
As an aside, when UK MAMS were transiting via Singapore, I wonder if many of the guys 67-69 remember calling by my bungalow and my wife, June, laying on the dainty tasties and that scurvy crew cooking beans on toast in the kitchen and leaving the lounge carpet stained red with their size 12's? Chas (Charles) Cormack was so nisshed he fell into the monsoon drain, snakes and frogs et all, but he survived.
Frank ex A FEAF MAMS
You make a very good point Frank. The initial Operations Record Book - Five Forty pages, were put together with the help of Ian Berry, who has access to the original UK MAMS records and quite a few additional records have been provided since by individual members. I will gladly include any and all FEAF MAMS taskings but currently the only source I have is the readership. There is an online form available on the lead page for one-off entries. The same stands true for both Gulf MAMS and NEAF MAMS - dig out your logs books!
Hercules Squadron Marks 100th Birthday
The Princess Royal has been at RAF Brize Norton to mark the centenary of one of the station's three Hercules squadrons.
As Honorary Air Commodore to the base, Her Royal Highness joined commanders, family and friends, as its personnel lined up on parade.
No. 47 Squadron has been flying the C-130 since the sixties and has played a part in almost every military operation since.
From: Keith Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts Subject: Visit to 1 AMW RAF Brize Norton
VISIT TO 1 AMW RAF BRIZE NORTON - 14 APRIL 2016
Following popular demand from our last 3 visits, OC 1 AMW, Wg Cdr Nick Huntley, has kindly invited the association back for another visit to the Wing to see its many functions. Proposed this time is a visit to Air Cargo and hopefully a look around a real C17 as opposed to the "mock up" we've seen on the last two visits and of course the obligatory lunch in the Sgt's Mess (at your own expense of course).
Anyone interested in coming on the visit is requested in the first instance to get in touch with Keith Parker by e-mail on SPBR09055@blueyonder.co.uk or on the phone 01225 709238. It doesn't matter if you have to pull out later, I just need to see how many people are interested, we have been given the proposal of 12 people max and I will have a reserve list should we have too many.
So come on people, let's be 'aving you (that well known policeman’s address), if you are interested let me know ASAP.
Photo of the Month
An RAAF C-17 - is it flying towards us or away from us?
From: Anonymous Subject: The worst thing I ever got away with
Here's one for you, Tony,
At an RAF station which will remain unnamed, I was a very junior officer who fancied himself at everything. A visiting aircraft from an unnamed allied Air Force was parked on the pan, and needed unloading.
It was a busy day and my guys were doing all sorts of good mover stuff. I said 'I'll drive the forklift while you guys load baggage'. I hopped on to the vehicle (which I was not licensed to drive), and drove up to the aircraft like I had done it for years.
Approaching the aircraft (I think a DC4), I raised the forklift tines and gingerly moved forward. There was a protective hinged bracket placed over the sill which I dented with the forklift tines as I moved forward (thank goodness it was there or I would surely have pierced the aircraft skin). I stopped, hopped off as quick as I had hopped on and left the job to a professional!
RAAF deliver TALU to Taji
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules has delivered a Truck Aircraft Loading Unloading (TALU) vehicle to the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. The TALU significantly reduces the unloading and loading time of cargo pallets onto an aircraft.
The Iraqi Security Forces continue to be trained by Task Group Taji personnel from Australia and New Zealand at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq as part of the broader international Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission. The training includes weapon handling, building clearances and obstacle breaching techniques; as well as training in the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for squad through to company-level operations to use in their fight against Daesh.
Task Group Taji’s BPC contribution is part of Australia’s broader Defence contribution to Iraq, codenamed Operation OKRA, which includes a Special Operations Task Group and an Air Task Group.
1st Joint Public Affairs Unit
From: Claude St-Onge, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC Subject: The worst thing I ever got away with
Here is an anecdote (true) that happen to me and a comrade named Moe. We were flying back from Germany (Lahr) direct to Trenton (8 Wing) for a flight duration of approx 9.5hrs.
This happen when they just impose a non-smoking policy onboard all flights. Me and Moe were smokers at that time and our aircraft commander was a real anti-smoker!
What a pain! After the first 5 hrs we were craving for a smoke and we suddenly had an idea. The offflow valve which is located in the tail in the upper side of the cargo door on the port side gave us an idea. This valve regulates the pressurization by sucking air out a bit at time. So what we figure is if we force this thing open a little bit we could smoke near the valve and the suction will let the smoke out.
We used the "Milking Stool" (ramp support) adjusting bar to force the valve open and enjoyed a couple of quick smokes! What a relief, but when it came time to remove the bar we could not as it was jammed in the valve!
At the same time over our head sets we heard the Flight Engineer complain about a loss of pressurization! Needless to say we started to panic!
The FE advised the aircraft commander that he was going off headset and going to the back to see about the problem. God save us the FE was a smoker and when he saw us near the offflow valve and saw what we had done, he came nearby and had a smoke.
He then told us not to panic he would get the thing resolved. Back up front the FE told the aircraft commander that there was a problem with the pressurization valve and it had to be reset. The procedure was to have all the crew on oxygen, depressurize and cycle the valve full open, and then close. We proceeded as such and when the valve opened up me and Moe retrieved the adjusting bar.
The rest of the flight ended up fine and needless to say without smoking. Of course it cost me and Moe a couple of cases of beer for our FE!
From: 1AMW-MAMS E OC (Clark, Nicholas Flt Lt), Brize Norton Subject: 50th Anniversary of UKMAMS/1AMW Raffle
As you may be aware, in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of UKMAMS/1AMW Sgt Nigel Dutton has been working with Bremont Chronometers to produce a Squadron Watch. The current OC 1AMW, Wg Cdr Nick Huntley, has arranged with Bremont to have a watch Raffled off to raise money for the 1AMW welfare fund. To that end we would like to offer you and your members the opportunity to enter the raffle as having previously served on UKMAMS/1AMW.
I have attached the application form for your perusal, however, in brevity, the raffle tickets are available at £20 per ticket, with a maximum of 150 tickets available for the draw. Numerous payment methods are available, and the winner will be announced on 26 Jun as part of the celebratory Dining In Night at RAF Brize Norton Officers Mess.
Payment: Cheques should be made payable to: Mr N Huntley Bank transfers should be made to the following details: Sort Code: 40-08-10 Account no: 11586106 Reference: Raffle Ticket
(Click on logo at left for the 50th Anniversary Raffle Ticket Application)
From: Peter Swallow, Bristol Subject: In search of Contact Information
Sqn Ldr Will Andrew is after contact numbers for the following people to invite them along to the 1 AMW/UKMAMS 50th Anniversary celebrations:
Gp Capt Dave Lester-Powell Wg Cdr Scott Rogers Wg Cdr Tim Etches Wg Cdr Ellie Cloke Mr C Allen FS Blu Hughes WO Neil Robinson WO Mark Taylor Can you place an article in the Old Bods Brief for those people stated above or people in contact with those persons mentioned to contact Sqn Ldr Will Andrew via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Brize Norton Aircraft Movements 5th December 2011
Select Full Screen - crank up the volume - sit back and enjoy watching some of the aircraft movements at Brize from December 5, 2011. You can almost smell the Avtur!
From: David Stevens, Bangor Subject: The worst thing I ever got away with
Writing to you on such occasions is like stepping into the confessional! But here goes... I had a number of near misses but this one stands out as a complete piece of lunacy.
The Oil Lift, December 1965, Dar-Es-Salaam - it was Christmas Eve, very early morning and the commercial Britannia we needed to load was in completely the wrong place on the dispersal area. It was parked in such a way that we could not get proper/safe access for the Britannia Freight Lift Platform (BFLP). Time was against us. Time to think out of left field! Time for urgent UKMAMS initiative!
I got hold of one of the RAF servicing lads, I told him my plan and I told him that I would accept total responsibility. He looked sceptical, as all good technicians should when confronted with an outrageous idea from a young MAMS officer, but he agreed. The keys were already in the Tugmaster which had been readied for action. I jumped aboard, fired her engine (what a roar to someone who's only previous driving experience was as a 'L' learner driver of a friend's Morris Minor), graunch and grated her into reverse gear and got one of my lads to 'steer' the aircraft towing arm toward the aircraft nose wheel. Connected, locked and with the thumbs up from the lad in the cockpit (ie brakes off) I engaged forward gear(s) - some 16 to choose from - and duly pulled the Britannia to the loading ramp.
Waiting there was the BFLP, the trucks loaded with our cargo, some 90 x 45 gall. drums of fuel and the remainder of the MAMS team who duly applauded their idiot team leader.
I pulled on the hand brake, turned off the engine and left the Tugmaster (innocently) still attached to the Britannia. The aircraft was loaded, the Britannia crew arrived for their pre-flight checks, never raised an eyebrow, the techie remained 'stumm' and it was chocks-away on time.
The answer is NO, I did not have a ground equipment license, neither did I have a Tugmaster driving license nor any clue how to drive such a beast, and my goodness the adrenalin was pumping. I brushed it off as if it was just something that had to be done. God knows how I got away with it.
You may recall that it was just two days later, 26 December, that President Nyere ordered the RAF Oil Lift detachment out of Tanganyika (as it was then) Tanzania (as it is now). I would like to think that my moving the Britannia, illegally, had no part in his decision!
Retired Service Card
Leaving the Royal Air Force can make you feel like you’ve severed some important links. Returning your ID card means you have nothing in your pocket to prove that you once served.
Applying for one of our Retired Service Cards provides a valuable replacement to your ID card, providing the proof that you served in the RAF and entitling you to range of discounts both at home and abroad.
A Retired Service Card is available to all ex-RAF personnel who are members of the RAF Association and costs just £20. As well as filling the space left by your ID card you will also be making another vital contribution to the RAF Association.
For further information, or to enquire about a Retired Service Card, please call us on 0116-268-8783 or email us here.
Download an application form for a Retired Service Card and post it, completed along with 2 passport photographs and your evidence of service to: Membership Department, Royal Air Forces Association, 117 1/2 Loughborough Road, Leicester, LE4 5ND United Kingdom Not yet a member?
If you're not already a member of the RAF Association and you would like to apply for a Retired Service Card, you can add it to your membership when applying as an Ordinary Member. Please be sure to upload your head and shoulders photograph plus evidence of service when applying.
From: Anonymous Subject: The worst thing I ever got away with
When I returned from Aden I was wearing a Rolex watch given to me by an Arab contractor. On arrival at London Airport in 1967 customs checks were rudimentary so I slinked into the gents and tied the watch to my belt with watch hanging between my legs!
Everything went according to plan and I returned home wearing the Rolex which is now half a century old.
As a post script to this my US friend who was a university lecturer phoned to tell me that an Arab gentleman among his students knew me. I asked how come? He told me that he was a contractor in Aden and he gave you the watch - it's a small world!
All the best,
From: Shane Christall, Melbourne, VIC Subject: The Temptress at Melbourne
Hope you're doing well mate!
The first picture was taken on a RAAF C-17 (A41-212) that stopped by Melbourne airport last Friday 18th Mar, details of the task are unknown. The two Loadmasters on board were some mates of mine I used to fly with when I was in the job.
I was just there to catch up with the boys, but I dragged some people from the office who got lucky enough to take a personal tour.
I thought it would be fitting to get myself reacquainted with the Loadmaster Station, it felt great to be sitting in the seat again!
The second picture was the view of the C-17 from my office at Melbourne airport. As you can imagine, she was just too much of a tease; I had no other choice than to give in to the temptress!
The Duke of Edinburgh opens The Prince Philip Barracks at MOD Lyneham
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the refurbished MOD Lyneham todayto officially name the newPrince Philip Barracks in his honour.
The Duke of Edinburgh is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), whose regimental headquarters are now located at The Prince Philip Barracks.
The visit began with a Guard of Honour outside the Brunel Building, where the Duke of Edinburgh was met by the Master General REME, Lieutenant General Andrew Figgures CB CBE and Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory CB. His Royal Highness then went inside the building to tour some of the facilities.
The Duke of Edinburgh spoke to soldiers and officers from the newly formed 8 Training Battalion REME, the REME Arms School and the School of Army Aeronautical Engineering.
The hosting party went on to visit one of several technical training facilities on the former RAF site, which now house a range of Army training equipment including tanks, armoured vehicles, weapons and sophisticated technical training aids. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Lord Lieutenant spoke to some of the soldiers and instructors about the training at the school.
Then, hosted by the Master General of REME and the Regimental Headquarters and watched by some of the 1,800 military personnel working and training at MOD Lyneham, The Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official opening of The Prince Philip Barracks. The visit closed with His Royal Highness meeting the families of those based at the barracks and having lunch in the Princess Marina Officers’ Mess.
Colonel Mike Pendlington, Commandant of the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, part of the Defence College of Technical Training, said: It is a privilege to continue to celebrate REME’s relationship with His Royal Highness by naming The Prince Philip Barracks in his honour. The day has been a great success and an opportunity to demonstrate how training continues to improve and evolve to the benefit of the British Armed Forces.
His Royal Highness has been Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers since 1969.
The Duke of Edinburgh opens The Prince Philip Barracks at MOD Lyneham