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29 (R) SQN

IT HAS BEEN A BUSY START TO 2014 FOR 29(R) SQN. WE HAVE SAID GOODBYE TO OPCON 24 AND OPCON 25 ARE MAKING GOOD PROGRESS. FLT LT ‘JAMIE’ REES HAS COMPLETED HIS PDA AND MANY NEW FACES HAVE ARRIVED FROM THE FRONT LINE TO REPLACE THE (OLD AND LINED) ONES THAT HAVE LEFT.

It is a time of mixed emotions for all members of a Sqn when there is an impending departure from the fold for many reasons. The first thought is always what terrible secondary duties did they have and more importantly who is in line to get them? With this in mind I think it only fair to talk about the departure of Flt Lt Thorpe and his alter ego “Bloggs”. Not quite a secondary duty but it often brought equal amounts of pain and pleasure to all QPIs at some point. Thinking up new ways to make that many mistakes whilst distracting the student QPI doesn’t come naturally to most but Thorpey had it down to a fine art. Thorpey, you and “Bloggs” will be sorely missed and we wish you all the best in the Falklands and beyond.

Sadly we also have to say farewell to OCT, Sqn Ldr Hoyle. Hoyley has left behind a legacy (and a £1900 hole in 3 credit cards; damn that decimal place!) that will be difficult to fill. We wish you all the best in the AWC at Waddington just be careful where you go for dinner and which bottle of wine you choose.

On a happier note we have had some new arrivals from the front line to bolster the dwindling numbers (and bring down the average age) of the QPIs on 29. Mike “Brucie” Forsyth returns after serving 12 months on XI and Sqn Ldr Ed Morris joins us from 6 Sqn, a direct replacement for Hoyley in the role of OCT. Ed, I hope you have deep pockets or are better at reading?

As I write this article the stunt pilot, Flt Lt Noel Rees, has managed to regain his simulator currency in time for the PDA today. Congratulations and we wish you great success on the 2014 display season. Force Development is a popular topic throughout the RAF and here at Coningsby. In keeping with this ethos, over the next couple of months the Sqn are planning a cycle tour of Mont Blanc, and of course the hotly anticipated world famous inaugural 29(R) Sqn 20/20 cricket match.

Notwithstanding all these extra activities, 29(R) Sqn continues to deliver on its primary task. Opcon 24 have left the building apart from Deano Rogers who has now upgraded to an adult strength neck and rejoined the course as part of Opcon 25. The remainder of Opcon 25 is made up of Sqn Ldr Cockroft, who arrived from TFHQ. Flt Lt Bird has returned from a year in the Falklands only to be sent back soon after completing the OCU (oh the irony). They are joined by Flt Lt Smith, who has eventually managed to escape the virtual reality world of the Typhoon simulator to progress onto a real jet (with one seat). Last but by no means least, Lt Dockins, the latest USN exchange officer who will eventually join the 29 Sqn staff.

Finally, 29(R) Sqn would like to offer a warm welcome to our two friends who join us from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for pilot training having first endured Anglesey for over a year. We hope you have brought the sunshine with you. Enjoy the summer of 2014 from all on 29(R)!

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