Where does time go? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing my first foreword for the magazine whilst out in Las Vegas, attending the final planning meetings for Red Flag; I type this once again from Nevada, with XI Squadron and other RAF participants two-thirds of their way through the exercise.

The then Flt Lt Stringer took part in Red Flag in 1999: Red Flag 13-3 is different in so many ways and has provided excellent training and exposure for everyone deployed…but more on this in the next edition.  I was also able to visit 3(F) Squadron whilst they were on exercise in the Middle East: very different to Red Flag, but equally valuable and highlighting the variety of training/ exercise deployments that the Coningsby Wing is undertaking this year.

Closer to home, I am delighted that we have approval for more new build accommodation, allowing us to house people on base in some really good rooms.  Although the build will take time and generate some inevitable disruption, it will be worth it.  My thanks to everyone who has worked very hard to bring this to fruition.  More broadly, we will continue to seek funding for improvements to our infrastructure, and I hope for some near-term wins from the next ‘Quality of Life’ bid.

Finally, and by the time this edition hits the streets, we will have agreed our RAF Coningsby Plan for the next 12 months.  Our flying task is challenging, but you will know from my ‘Commander’s Intent’ for 2013 that I am determined that we will make time for personal and professional development…and have some fun too.  If you haven’t yet thought through what you individually hope to achieve this year, then now is the time.   For my part, I will do my level best to help by setting the right conditions here at Coningsby.  Let’s get cracking.

Group Captain Johnny Stringer