29 (R) SQN

Returning to work after the festive season, with failed New Year resolutions still niggling our conscience, tax returns, short days/long nights and terrible weather all combining to create the perfect storm of melancholy. In the words of Alan Partridge, it’s enough to make anyone “clinically fed-up”! Indeed, for a couple of members of 29 Squadron, returning to work in plaster, the festivities of the previous month didn’t just leave a dent in their bank balance. Heads, wrists, legs and ankles, were all to bear the brunt of some over–exuberance during the Christmas party season (not to mention the numerous sprout-related injuries at the Squadron Christmas Draw!).

Thankfully, there was at least one person on the Squadron who seemed fresh and motivated to start the New Year, our new commanding officer Wing Commander James Bolton. “JB” takes command of 29 straight from a year spent at the Advanced Staff College, and we can only assume that Santa brought him a lot of power tools for Christmas as he spent the entire 2 week break redecorating the Squadron!

With JB’s arrival, we must bid farewell to Wing Commander James Heald after 2 years of command. His leaving gift to the Squadron is a new picnic bench, which is only fitting since he destroyed the last one with his bizarre regime of lunging on it 20 times a day with a can of coke in one hand and a copy of AP3000 in the other…

Wing Commander Heald leaves us to take up a very important desk job at High Wycombe, and was last heard to mutter “kill me in the face”. He did however convince AOC 1 Group that he should return for a week in January, to accompany the Typhoon Display team to Bahrain for “extra supervision”. We’re unsure whether he will offer to do the same for the Prestwick Air Show later this year…

In lighter news though, the rumours of 29 finally getting an overseas detachment later this year, were enough to raise the spirits of even the most dejected an armourer (a tactical move by OC Eng to let that slip out and improve morale just after the NEM pay review announcement?!). A few weeks of sunshine is just what the doctor ordered for a Squadron that has seen its last three detachments as boltholes to Lossiemouth, Waddington and Leeming respectively!

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2016 from 29(R)Sqn.