Editing the Christmas edition of OnetoOne is a funny one. Although by now everyone is forward focused on the Christmas break and some much needed time with friends and family, most of the content of the magazine is a retrospective on what everyone has been up to since the last edition hit the streets in late summer/early autumn.

I continue to be amazed at the output of the station. In the short 3 month period since I last penned this column we have hosted a major combined air exercise with the Royal Saudi Air Force, built and run a deployed international joint force headquarters, deployed on operations in the Middle East at the drop of a hat plus a whole host of other exciting achievements all captured in the following pages.

As I write these words in the week of XI Squadron’s safe return from Cyprus, it is pleasing to think of all the men and woman heading off for some well earned leave, but it won’t be long before they are all back at work and focusing on the next challenge. At times like these, the importance of a positive outlook on life reminds me of a festive tale. A family I know has twin boys whose only resemblance to each other is in their appearance. In every other way they are completely opposite; one is an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist. In the name of experimentation, last year on Christmas Day their father loaded the pessimist’s room with every toy and game imaginable. The optimist’s room he filled with horse manure. Later that night the father passed by the pessimist’s room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. “Why are you crying?” the father asked. “Because my friends will be jealous, I’ll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken.” answered the pessimist twin. Passing the optimist twin’s room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. “What are you so happy about?” he asked. The optimist twin replied, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

I sincerely hope that every one has a wonderful holiday and a well deserved rest. If you are fortunate to be sitting at home on Christmas Day animatedly discussing with your loved ones what the best festive film is*, please spare a thought for the Coningsby folk who are working hard to keep you safe. And finally, please don’t wish too hard for a white Christmas; clearing snow off 9000 feet of runway isn’t anyone’s idea of a merry one.

Thom Colledge 

01526 347506



*The answer is Die Hard by  the way.