29(R) Sqn – (Mar/Apr/May 2012)
As usual we have had a very busy few months on 29(R) Sqn. The weather has been kind and the engineers have provided plenty of serviceable aircraft which has allowed us to maximise the flying hours and continue churning out pilots to the front-line.
During the months of March, April and May we have bid farewell to:
Royal Saudi Air Force Course 5
(Lt Col Al-Bosaili, Lt Col Al-Qahtani, Lt Col Al-Shehri (Pictured with OC 29 Sqn) and Maj Al-Baiz)
Refresher course 10A
(Sqn Ldr Charlie Matthews, Sqn Ldr Simon Batt (3(F) Sqn))
OpCon 8A to OpCon 10
(Flt Lt Will Collins (3(F) Sqn), Flt Lt Luke Wilkinson (11 Sqn), Flt Lt Gregor Ogston (3(F) Sqn)), (Flt Lt James Calvert (6 Sqn), Flt Lt Richard Heap (6 Sqn), Flt Lt Antony Horrigan (6 Sqn), Flt Lt Mark Long (3(F) Sqn)), (Flt Lt Lawton (11 Sqn), Flt Lt Rees (29(R) Sqn)).
We wish everybody the best of luck for the future!
Just as things were beginning to quieten down we replaced the above with: (Flt Lt Stefan Wurwal, Flt Lt Giles Croft, Flt Lt Drew Durrell, Capt Kevin Williams USAF)
Refresher Course 11
(Sqn Ldr Garry Stratford, Sqn Ldr Billy Cooper)
(Flt Lt Jamie Lenox, Flt Lt Steve Smith, Flt Lt Nic Callinswood).
We hope you all enjoy your time on 29(R) Sqn.
As well as continuing our primary role of producing qualified Typhoon pilots we have also seen Flt Lt Rich Watts, Flt Lt Graham Cooke and Flt Lt Jamie Norris head to the South Atlantic to support 1435 Flt in the defence of the Falkland Islands. The rumours that they have been to the South Atlantic Rest and Recuperation Centre are completely unfounded…it is still an Op tour! ps. They’re not coming!
Flt Lt Pearce, Flt Lt Watts and Flt Lt Sampson have all re-categorised as A2 instructors. Nobody is quite certain what that means but we are assured they aren’t getting any worse at instructing!
We welcome our new OpsO, Flt Lt Zoe Lindley, who joins us from RAF Northolt via an OOA in Al Udeid which, if you didn’t know, is a little known all-inclusive holiday resort just outside Qatar.
During March we hosted AOC 22 Gp, Air Vice-Marshall Mike Lloyd, who visited the Sqn in conjunction with a visit from IV(R) Sqn based at RAF Valley. The purpose of the visit was to confirm that the training being carried out at RAF Valley in the new jet trainer, the Hawk T2, is current and relevant, to ensure students leaving IV(R) Sqn are in the best position to arrive on the Typhoon OCU. This visit was invaluable as it gave both squadrons an insight into the capabilities of each other’s aircraft. There was even an opportunity for 2 Typhoon pilots to experience backseat flights in the Hawk T2 to witness the reassuring similarities in avionics that are now present in this modern trainer, which will pay dividends for any future fast-jet trainees.
The Sqn was lucky enough to partake in a 9-ship flypast to celebrate HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which saw Flt Lt Cholmondeley-Smith and Flt Lt Harrison carry out some of the finest formation flying we have ever seen. We are assured that they were both in position and the other 7 were out!
On top of the busy flying programme we have also managed to fit in some physical and social exercising. On 25 March personnel from 29(R) Sqn participated in the Lincoln 10K run raising money for Help for Heroes. Thanks to Cpl “Russ” Abbott for organising the 29(R) Sqn contingent (Pictured).
During May we held a dining in night in the Dower House Hotel, Woodhall Spa, which turned out to be a huge success with Sqn personnel and guests alike. The evening also saw the Sqn being awarded the prestigious Trenchard Memorial Trophy by Central Flying School in recognition of the hard work and achievements over the past 12 months.
Whilst all of the above was going on OC MSF felt his life still wasn’t quite busy enough and decided to have a baby. Huge congratulations to Hilary and Phil on the birth of Elizabeth! We wish you all the best of luck and many quiet nights.
Finally, we look ahead to the forthcoming months. We are continuing to progress well and look set to graduate 8 more pilots over the next 2 months. Until next time…”Impiger