3 (F) SQN
With the Christmas season rapidly approaching, 3(Fighter) Squadron can happily reflect on a successful autumn period.
The Squadron is finally back at full strength in the UK, following our hugely successful deployment in support of Operation BILOXI in Romania. The Squadron is once again operating at ‘full steam ahead’, in order to satisfy our high readiness commitment.
The autumn period was a time of unprecedented combined operations, between 3(F) and XI(F) Squadrons. This presented both Squadrons with a unique opportunity to complete airborne training, utilising a greater joint availability of both pilots and aircraft. Once this was over, and back in familiar surroundings, the Squadron engineering team wasted no time in getting back to full speed. This allowed us to participate fully in Exercise COBRA WARRIOR, the final exercise of the Typhoon Qualified Weapons Instructors’ Course, and Exercise EASTERN ZEPHYR, which saw us integrate and operate with USAF F-22 Raptors; an opportunity which was relished by all involved. On top of this we also participated in Exercise VIRTUAL FURY, a large scale two week, synthetic-based exercise at RAF Waddington, which further demonstrates a flavour of our current pace of life.
Personnel from 3(F) Sqn were cautioned to be ‘on their best behaviour’ as members of the Squadron Association, as well as members of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers and their families were invited to a Dining In night to celebrate the achievements of the Squadron. Notable departures remembered at this event, included: one of the Junior Engineering Officers who is poised to bring his own unique style to the Falklands (let’s hope they are ready); the Squadron Intelligence Officer who we are delighted to announce has finally begun his journey to become a member of the two-winged master race; and there was a special mention for one of our pilots, whose excessive use of sunbeds, moisturiser and hair gel has earned him a spot with The Red Arrows. We wish them all the best of luck in the future.
On Thursday 12th October, 3(F) Sqn completed perhaps the most important task of this period. Nine members of the Squadron had the honour of attending a rededication ceremony for Lieutenant Leonard Kidd MC and Second Lieutenant Fenton Phillips MC, where the Squadron Standard was proudly paraded. These brave airmen of 3 Squadron Royal Flying Corps were sadly shot down and killed on 12th Oct 1916, whilst conducting operations over the Somme Battlefield. For 101 years they had lain in unmarked graves, with their whereabouts unknown. However, after some incredibly hard work by Steve St-Amant, a retired Canadian Naval officer, they could finally be laid to rest in named graves, after a poignant ceremony in keeping with the sacrifice that they made.
This has marked an enjoyable and highly successful period for 3(F) Sqn. We look forward to our upcoming deployments to Estonia and will hopefully enjoy a well-earned rest over the Christmas period. As ever we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices that our friends and families make on our behalf, especially during the protracted amounts of time we spend away. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.