Our guests included Air Marshal Sir David Walker and Station Commander Group Captain David Tait.
We were privileged to be hosted by Sir David Walker for a private tour of the Station where members of the RAF Regiment explained the range of armoured vehicles and weaponry that have been used in combat in operational theatres such as Afghanistan.
The role of the RAF regiment is to defend the airfields aircraft and airmen in order for them to operate effectively in areas where they are threatened on the ground by the enemy.
The Regiment was established by Churchill in 1942 following the fall of Crete and the loss of airfield and aircraft. He famously said that henceforth, “Every airfield should be a stronghold of fighting air – groundmen.”
This remains their role to this day although they have developed into an offensive as well as a defensive fighting force ,from participation in the Normandy Landings at Juno Beach to fighting at the Battle of Monte Cassino and to more recent conflicts in Kuwait ,Iraq and Afghanistan.
We were invited to watch the Graduation Parade for Trainee Gunners who had earned the right to wear the coveted Corps Flash on their uniform and which was enlivened by the music of the Central Band of the Air Force.
After lunch in the Officers Mess we were given an extensive tour of the Regiments Heritage Centre which told the story of the Regiment and contained a rich collection of equipment used in conflicts around the world in which it had played a decisive role.