17(R) SQN – PARADE HERALDS NEW ERA FOR RAF
On 12 April 2013, 17 (Reserve) Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES) paraded a new Standard at RAF Coningsby.
After the parade the squadron number will move to the United States, where a new 17 Squadron is destined to become the Lightning II TES, tasked with preparing to bring the Lightning II aircraft into RAF service. Personnel, families, and veterans of the squadron gathered to mark the occasion. During the parade the standard was reviewed by Air Marshal Greg Bagwell and consecrated by The Venerable (AVM) Raymond Pentland, Chaplain-in-Chief.
The event also marked the end of Wing Commander Steve Williams’ tenure as Officer Commanding 17 (R) TES Sqn. Wg Cdr Williams flew his, and the squadron’s, final Typhoon sortie on Friday 5 April. Regarding the presentation of the Standard he had the following comment, “I am delighted to be the Squadron commander on the occasion of receiving a new Standard. This is a very proud moment for any Squadron; and marks the start of an exciting new chapter in this squadron’s story. No 17 Squadron has been integral to the development of the Typhoon. We are extremely proud of our part in bringing the platform from its entry into service to where it is now; already proven on the world stage and yet with a potential still to be explored and developed. I would also like to pay tribute and say ‘Thank you’ to the fine personnel of my squadron. It is the qualities of these people that have delivered the success of the squadron.”
Guests at the event included Group Captain Rob Humphries, the Chief Test Pilot. Grp Capt Humphries said,
“17 Squadron already has a distinguished record, we now move on to a new era. By 2025 the RAF’s combat fleet will be made up of Lightning II and Typhoon aircraft, a combination that will ensure we continue to have a potent strike force whilst retaining our defensive capability. It will be the new squadron’s task to begin the process of delivering the Lightning II
element of that objective. Meanwhile, 41 Squadron will assume the task of continuing to develop the world-class capability of the Typhoon aircraft.”
17 (Reserve) Squadron will shortly stand up at Edwards Air Force Base in Arizona to prepare to receive the Lightning II. The Typhoon aircraft that currently fly with 17 Squadron will now become part of 41(Reserve) Test & Evaluation Squadron based at RAF Coningsby.