Stn Cdr’s Foreword – Issue 3

It seems an eternity since I wrote my first foreword for onetoone and the last thing I considered was that I would have to pen my second foreword from Southern Italy!

So much has happened in the past couple of weeks, how do I capture the scale and impressive nature of what you have achieved?  In reality, it is simple – we have a superb team of people at RAF Coningsby who can be relied upon to calmly and professionally answer any call.  On behalf of everyone here at Gioia Del Colle I would like to pass on our sincere thanks to every single person involved in the preparation and deployment of our Typhoons to deliver such an important task.  The totally selfless effort and unquestioning support generated aircraft and personnel for deployment in a timescale that I could only dream of – quite simply it was inspirational and I feel incredibly privileged to be part of your team.  As I moved around the Station, the professionalism and flexibility of everyone was crystal clear – such a herculean effort enabled us to fly our first Operational Typhoon mission over Libya enforcing the UN mandated No Fly Zone in less than 12 hours from our arrival. We are well aware that everyone back home continues to support us as we have maintained our daily commitment to generate missions and enforce the No Fly Zone – we have not missed a beat.  I know that everyone here appreciates greatly the sacrifices and hard work, as well as the love and support of our families and friends, which continues back at RAF Coningsby and makes our task so much easier.  Everyone here is very much ‘heads-down’ and concentrating on the job but I hope that we will soon be in a position to communicate with everyone much more easily; I am sure that you are all as keen to hear how we are doing as much as we would like to hear about what is happening at home.  Our thoughts are never far away from our friends and families in Lincolnshire and I can only say that we are proud that we are continuing the fine tradition started 70 years ago when RAF Coningsby generated its first operational mission; long may we continue to do so!

Gp Capt Sammy Sampson