It’s been a busy summer as members of 3(F) travelled far and wide renewing old friendships.

Wg Cdr Cab Townsend’s passport has been particularly well used as he led two of the overseas trips. The first was a visit to Normandy with Flt Lt’s Badger Fordham and Rayban Chumley-Warner-Smyth who were joined by Cpl Fiona Stanley (Squadron Operations) and SACs Ben Pell, Martin Sherwin and Bruce Brennan (all 3(F) Engineers) on the Typhoon Entente Cordiale staff ride. This annual event commemorates 3(F)’s service in WWII when the Squadron flew the ‘original’ Typhoon over France.

The Boss, Sqn Ldr Harry ‘SEngO’ Raja, and Flt Lt Steve Kemp participated in an extremely successful trip to Japan. Covered in a separate article, this visit renewed ties between the Japanese Air Force and 3(F) that began 86 years ago. With a reciprocal visit planned for next year it’s clear that 3(F)’s pilot nicknames need to be improved to compete with those encountered on the trip; Twink and Buble are no match for Lethal Snake, Swan or Zero.

Following the Boss’s example the JPs have also been ‘improving’ international relations. Flt Lt’s Nilson and Smith attended the Zeltwig Airshow in Austria with a small engineering support team, Gregor Ogston attended a USAF led course not far from Las Vegas (it’s a tough job…) as well as a staff ride with 3 UK Division to Normandy whilst Si Taylor and Buble Palfreymen attended the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) on behalf of the Squadron.

On the home front a busy social period has been enjoyed by all with the summer ball weekend a particular highlight. Starting with pre-ball drinks hosted by Sqn Ldr Billy Cooper he ensured that his reputation as employee of the month will not be challenged, inviting OC Operations Wing and the Station Commander to his soiree – it must be OJAR season. The ball was a fantastic success with all the pilots enjoying the plethora of activities in to the early hours.

After the ball, a highly successful Squadron Families Day was held on the 3(F) Squadron site. Organised by the engineers, the fun fair themed day came complete with games, bouncy castle and a much needed BBQ to help some jaded summer ball attendees through the afternoon. The day provided a great opportunity for friends and family to relax in the sunshine and catch up over a pint of Squadron ale.

The engineers continued their success the following weekend as they claimed victory in the Larkhill Cup Golf Tournament. It proved to be a comfortable win for the engineers – more practice needed by the pilots for the rematch next year.

New arrivals during the period include Tim ‘Pyeman’ Pye, Kev Broder and Jon ‘Simmo’ Simcox. Pyeman joins the Typhoon Force following a 12 month tour of the Falklands having previously flown the Tornado F3 and Hawk T2. Kev and Simmo join from 29(R) and the pair will no doubt bring some QWI aggression and in Simmo’s case, some QFI nibbing, to the Squadron.

Despite the busy social programme the pace of flying operations has not subsided. The Squadron flew 4 aircraft in the annual Queen’s Birthday Flypast over Buckingham Palace in June and has supported several air shows around the UK in addition to the aforementioned Austria and RIAT. Combat ready work ups continue as normal and the tempo of post graduation training has also increased as the Squadron begins it’s work up to the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course (ATLC) held in the UAE at the end of the year. The start of this build up was a highly successful Ex Carbon Copy which was held in the first week of August.

As August draws to a close 3(F) looks forward to an overseas training flight to Poland, heavy weapons training off the coast of Wales, the Battle Of Britain celebrations in September and of course, Ex Saudi Green Flag. Until next time – Tertius Primus Erit.