BASE SUPPORT WING OVERVIEW
The publication of a new OnetoOne magazine gives us an opportunity to look back on what has happened since the last edition and to look forward towards the next. Regardless of the direction of travel, the tempo within Base Support Wing is always a busy one, and as shown by the diversity in our recent BSW photograph, it is always more varied than is perhaps immediately obvious to those both outside and within the Wing.
A Golden Commemoration.
Back in May, the Station exercised its right to march through Boston, ‘with Bayonets fixed, Colours flying and Drums beating’. a right that was bestowed on the Station on May 16, 1963, exactly 50 years before this year’s event. Organising a parade of this size and importance takes a number of personnel, who largely fall under the auspices of Base Support Wing. The Station Warrant Officer, WO Watson was instrumental in pulling this great event together, working alongside an RAF Police Flight contingent , Flt Lt ‘Ginge’ O’Hara from the Force Protection Training Flight and members of Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire Police to ensure the event ran smoothly. This would not have been possible of course without the contribution of two flights of Servicemen and women from across the entire station led by the Parade Cdr, 3(F) Sqn Boss, Wg Cdr ‘Cab’ Townsend. The occasion was marked with a superb four ship Typhoon flypast led by Flt Lt Brough of 29(R) Sqn.
RAF Coningsby attracts a wide range of VIP and working level visitors, often in order to explain what it is we do here and the value and utility the Typhoon Force offers to the British taxpayer. Base Support Wing has a key role in both managing the visits’ process and hosting a fair share of these visits. In July OC BSW hosted the new in post Head of Defence Security, Carol Bernard CBE who came to RAF Coningsby to gain an operational perspective of security on Station and more broadly across the three services. This was the final visit of three and she left with a Royal Air Force ID card lanyard; what better way to promote our service around the hallowed halls of Whitehall?
What did you do last Summer?
The Summer holidays have, as ever, been supported by a series of activities for children and families. These have included a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, a Beach Party, and an opportunity for a free visit to Tattershall Castle to list just a few. These activities are organised by the Community Development Officer, Lou Henderson.
Along side the HIVE and the Padres, another pillar of the CST until very recently was PC Pete Smith, the Defence Community Police Officer, who retired at the end of August. Having joined the MOD Police in 1978, Pete took up post as the Unit Beat Officer (as they were then called) at RAF Coningsby in July 2004. Known locally as PC Pete, he quickly became an integral part of the RAF Coningsby policing and community support teams and a key figure in the local community too. PC Pete, though his work alongside colleagues from the RAF and MOD Police, helped to forge very valuable and strong links with the wider Lincolnshire Police Force and local residents. With Service Families Accommodation (SFA) at RAF Coningsby dispersed within the local community, PC Pete’s presence and pro-active approach has been a major factor in helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and thus providing a safer environment for the Defence community. His loss is keenly felt but we are now continuing his good work with our two Police Community Support Officers in an attempt to fill a rather large PC Pete size gap in our community policing portfolio. And if you are ever visiting Boston West Golf Club, keep an eye out for their latest recruit. From bicycles with baskets and bank jobs (no pun intended) to police cars and golf buggies, PC Pete Smith we commend, salute and wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy future.
Another member of the Community Support Team, (CST) is WO Al Jenkins. The RAF Stress Management Governance Protocol calls for a proactive approach by the chain of command to reducing stress for Service personnel. In addition to both pre- and post-deployment events, the RAF has a system in place called Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) and WO Jenkins is currently promoting this initiative. TRiM is not a medical process or therapy, but it is designed to identify Service personnel at risk after traumatic incidents. TRiM is an effective tool which assists in the management of stress within the RAF. Anyone who is interested in becoming a practitioner should contact WO Jenkins, Community Support Warrant Officer, on ext 7211 for further information.