Following a hectic Summer, the Autumn months have provided XI Sqn an opportunity to return to a degree of normalilty, and allowed us to concentrate on our core business of being one of the finest Multi-Role Squadrons in the world!

The stability was short lived however, as the entire Squadron deployed to Lossiemouth at the end of September in support of Exercise Joint Warrior and CQWI. As the largest Joint Multi-National Exercise to occur on UK soil, this proved to be a fantastic training opportunity for our Pilot’s, Engineers and Support Staff. The flying programme ensured that we maximised these opportunities with the first wave arriving into work well before sunrise and the final stragglers getting back just in time for last orders at the bar! Huge credit should be given to our outstanding Engineering team, who, between their shifts worked 24 hours a day to ensure the aircraft were up to the task. Their unsociable hours were compensated slightly by being accommodated in some of Inverness’ finest Hotels, whilst the Pilots had to make do with the delights of Kinloss Barracks!

The Exercise also gave the Squadron some much needed time to socialise together, whether that be in the many great bars of Inverness or as the Pilots found out in the middle weekend, the little-known cosmopolitan gem of Kingussie… Cheers Keady!

The end of the Exercise was also the final hurdle for the Typhoon QWI course and we can now officially welcome Flt Lt Sonny Roe back to XI Sqn after a relaxing 10 month break on 29 Sqn… In addition to Sonny, we are also joined by Flt Lt Paul “Scally” Halpin from the OCU, who we welcomed to the Sqn by sending him straight down to the Falklands for 7 weeks!

The upper echelons of the Squadron have seen the biggest change of late, with the departure of Sqn Ldr Pete “Boomer” Ward who leaves to start a job in the recently relocated (conveniently for him) Typhoon Group Headquarters on the other side of the airfield. We also say goodbye to our SEngO Sqn Ldr Mark Butterworth, who is off to improve his Sun-Tan with the Typhoon Sales Team! Replacing them respectively are Sqn Ldr Al Allsop, who joins us from the Typhoon Simulator and Sqn Ldr Pete Severein who has recently returned from an Out Of Area post in Afghanistan.

As we look forward to the end of the year, the pace will ramp up again as we prepare for Exercise Red Diamond in December to ensure that we are suitably prepared for our trip to the States in the New Year (Did we mention that we’re going to Red Flag??!!) It’s certainly not all work however, as we head towards the festive season. The Calendar is brimming with XI Sqn functions, including Champagne tasting, Multiple Christmas Parties and a Squadron Half Marathon to ensure that we’re all looking our best for the Vegas Pool Parties!

Ociores Acrioresque Aquilis.