XI(F) SQN UPDATE
IT’S ALL BEEN HAPPENING ON XI(F) SQN SINCE THE LAST EDITION! THE SQUADRON HAS BEEN THROUGH A HUGE TURNOVER OF PERSONNEL AT ALL LEVELS AND AT QUITE A BUSY TIME.
No sooner than we welcome Flt Lt Jon Simcox back to the squadron, he leaves us as Sqn Ldr Jon Simcox. Congratulations Simo! But for some reason he is going to 3 Sqn? We also say good bye to Sqn Ldr Pip Roberts and Flt Lt Will Ricketts who have both retired from the RAF after long distinguished careers to fly larger, more ‘relaxing’ airplanes. We lose two more of our finest to 29 Sqn; Flt Lts Ed Dudley and Tris Le Lohe. Our loss is 29 Sqns significant gain. We wish all those departing the finest fighter squadron in the world all the very best of luck and you will all be badly missed!
With so many departures, we have had the pleasure of a few arrivals too. We have Lt Col Matt ‘Poison’ Marshall as USAF exchange, Sqn Ldrs Ian ‘Harty’ Hart, Andy ‘ASBO’ Watson and Mirella Carr and Flt Lts Jonny Dowen, Ben Polwin and Tom Seabrook. We are incredibly lucky as all bring an enormous amount of experience from a broad spectrum across various types including the F-16, F/A-18, B2 and the Tornado GR4 with over 10,000 hours between them. Welcome to the premier team at RAF Coningsby!
On the flying side, the squadron has barely returned from the recent stint on Op SHADER which was a resounding success for all corners of the squadron; engineers, admin and aircrew alike. As I write, XI(F) Sqn has just deployed for Op AZOTIZE to conduct NATO Air Policing as you may have seen on the news. This is our main focus for the next few months with a small home team still carrying out vital training and supporting UK QRA.
We have a lot to look forward to as a squadron, with a fresh faced and hugely experience team we are taking on the year with the same vibrant enthusiasm that XI(F) Sqn always does!