Saturday, 20 August 2022

Video: Royal parade marks squadron centenary

A ROYAL parade took place at RAF Benson to mark 100 years since the formation of 28 Squadron

A ROYAL parade took place at RAF Benson to mark 100 years since the formation of 28 Squadron.

Click here to watch our video report

Prince Michael of Kent, an honorary air marshall of the base, reviewed more than 90 personnel during the ceremony on Thursday last week.

The occasion also marked the official opening of the squadron’s new hangar, where the parade took place.

The squadron was formed in November 7, 1915, and was originally an army co-operation squadron. It now trains helicopter aircrew.

It was unable to mark the anniversary in November due to changes made to the squadron.

Click here to see more photographs of the event.

The parade, which was watched by about 100 people made up of families of the servicemen and women and former commanding officers, featured the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment.

Members of the squadron, commanded by Wg Cdr Marty Lock, were in ceremonial uniform and carrying rifles with bayonets.

During the inspection, Prince Michael stopped to chat with a number of personnel, asking questions and smiling.

He then gave a short speech, saying: “Your squadron has achieved a great deal over the last year and I am sure your professionalism, teamwork and impetus will continue into the future.

“I congratulate all the personnel of the squadron for what they have achieved today on this parade and also the sterling work as you begin preparing for your new headquarters. I wish you all every success for your centenary and your year to come.”

In the evening a separate dinner was held in the hangar to mark the centenary.

Three cakes were baked specially for the occasion, including one that looked like a flight log and another with an RAF uniform design.

Wg Cdr Lock, who took over as commanding officer in July, said: “I am honoured to command a squadron with such an illustrious history and an exceptionally bright future.

“We are always mindful of our squadron’s heritage and our actions today honour all those who have served 28 Squadron previously."

The squadron trains aircrew for front line squadrons at RAF Benson and RAF Odiham who provide helicopter lift capabilities to the army, Royal Marines and other defence and government agencies.

Tasks include troop movements, resupply, casualty evacuation, disaster relief, military aid and air security.

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