Ex TARTAN BUZZARD:
Between 23 Apr – 3 May 19, No. 29 Sqn deployed to RAF Lossiemouth with 8 Typhoon aircraft and 115 personnel in support of Ex TARTAN BUZZARD.
The Exercise was run as an extension to the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course 11 Heavy Weapons phase which delivered training in the employment of Precision Guided Munitions.
This offered the relatively rare opportunity for the Sqn to deploy to a different operating environment (albeit our sister Main operating Base) and work together to achieve a high training output.
RAF Lossiemouth offers a wealth of benefits with its easily accessible open and uncluttered airspace. This provided ideal conditions for good progress to be made both with the Operational Conversion and Qualified Flying Instructor Courses, Basic Fighting Manoeuvre phases. Garvie Island (the UKs only Live Heavy Weapons Range) presented the Qualified Weapons Instructor candidates with a prime opportunity to maximise the planning and employment of weapons they will soon be utilising and instructing, when they get to their Front Line Squadrons.
None of this output would have been achievable without the support and hard work of the 29 Sqn engineering team and other specialist units such as the Weapon Support Party from Coningsby Ready Use Armament Section. In total, 71 sorties were flown with only 2 planned trips lost due to aircraft unavailability. This is a superb achievement by a dedicated team working at an unfamiliar Squadron. It is worth noting the superlative support received from II(AC) Sqn, with any issues encountered specific to their site. You’ll be glad to hear that it wasn’t all work.
With Grantown-on-Spey available, a great chance to take the plunge with Adventurous Training was there for the taking.
This was a welcome break from the pace demanded in work. Fair to say some partook in a slightly more relaxed form of social engagement with a sedate visit to the local brewery to soak up some well-earned Scottish culture!
In this 75th anniversary year of the D-Day invasion, a small parallel may be made encompassing esprit-de-core and ‘togetherness’.
In order to achieve the ambitious goals set by the executive officers, it was imperative that 29 Sqn worked as a unified team to overcome snags as they arose and press on safely and efficiently. Additionally, the opportunity to socialise together outside of work goes a long way towards cementing positive relationships between aircrew, engineers, operations and support staff.
29 Sqn wish Sqn Ldr Ryan Lawton all the very best for his next tour with 12(B) Sqn and Flt Lt Alec Palfreyman who is off to warmer climes in the Middle East.
Sqn Ldr Stef Wurwal also departs to broaden his aviation horizon with the civilian sector. We thank him deeply for his service and wish him well… safe flying!
Flt Lts Jim Turner and Will Cambridge depart to commence flying on the Hawk T1. Good luck and best wishes in the new job!
29 Sqn welcome Flt Lt Si Cook who joins us from XI(F) Sqn.