XI(F) Sqn has continued to sustain output during these challenging times, with a special thanks to the amazing efforts of the Engineering Team!
The running of XI(F) Sqn is a joint effort and as you would expect, all cogs must turn smoothly to ensure the delivery of the mission. The pilots, engineers and support staff work as one team to execute the missions of a front-line Fighter Sqn including training, operations and Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). COVID may have presented its challenges but the Sqn continues to perform well and maintain the high professional standards that are expected. A big thank you to our engineering team and operations personnel for the hard work they continually put in! Into the summer months, the Sqn has been very busy!
The end of May saw the Sqn conducting training in Exercise ATLANTIC TRIDENT; pilots fought against French Mirage 2000s and Rafales in the West of France and were supported by Voyager air tankers from RAF Brize Norton.
In June, XI(F) Sqn took part in Exercise RISING PANTHER, which involved over 30 aircraft from Coningsby, Lossiemouth and Marham, in a realistic series of live flying scenarios. The Sqn was also tasked with providing vital QRA support for the high profile G7 Summit in Cornwall.
“Flying into July”, sorry, terrible I know… Exercise TYPHOON WARRIOR involved around 35 aircraft conducting coordinated Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground missions with both UK and US aircraft, the F-15 Eagles from Lakenheath providing the USAF element.
All the exercises provided excellent training opportunities for our front-line pilots to hone their skills for real-world Operations on the horizon as well as providing vital Combat Ready Work Up missions for the new arrivals.
We would like to wish Flt Lt Pete ‘Chaos’ James and Flt Lt Olly ‘Sarge’ Sargent all the very best for the future as they leave XI(F) Sqn and move onto 12 and 29 Sqn respectively. They have been huge asset to the Sqn and we will be greatly missed! Thank you, both! We are also saying goodbye to Sqn Ldr Andy “ASBO” Watson who leaves us on promotion to Wg Cdr and starts his “grown up writing” course at Staff College. Good luck, Eagles!
On the engineering side, they can report welcome news, with both FS Waller (FS B Shift) and Chief Tech Bell (A Shift Rects Controller) being picked up for promotion. XI(F) Sqn have also welcomed Chief Tech Heaney from 51 Sqn at Waddington.
With Autumn on the way, and autumn will soon be on the way, the Sqn has a number of challenging and exciting events for which we continually prepare. Aquilis!
Sqn Ldr Mark Graham