Sergeant Jonathan Ward
Sergeant Jonathan Ward
Sgt Jonathan M Ward's story...
- Joined the RAF as apprentice in 1990 and have served at RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth.
- In February of 2007 I served at Mount Pleasant Airfield in the Falklands.
- As far as highlights are concerned, then graduating from RAF Halton at the end of the three year Apprenticeship would be one.
- Being part of effort producing aircraft for Op Telic, would be another, as it was a time of high pressure and gave a sense of a job well done when it was completed.
Day 1 - 1st July 2008.
Day one has been quite an ‘eye opener’ as far as realising what a large event this is going to be. The drill practices have been pretty intense, when taking into account the conditions of the day. It has been one of the hottest days of the year, and for us from Northern Scotland, it has been quite a shock to the system. My feet are aching and my shoulder is bruised but I shall battle on. All in all therefore day one has been quite a challenge but we are here to do an important job and I will endeavour to keep up the hard work.
Day 2 - 2nd July 2008
With conditions a little more favourable, to-day’s practice session has been somewhat more enjoyable. With many of the drill movements having been revised and practiced we have started rehearsing aspects of the actual parade. Seeing all of the hard work that everyone has put in over the first two days start to produce an end product, and in my view, a very impressive one, is very fulfilling and spurs me on to keep going. Despite my arms being battered and bruised and the old back giving me grief I am ready for the next instalment. So Day Three - ‘Bring it On’.
Day 3 - 3rd July 2008
After a well deserved late start today, we kicked off with the challenge of perfecting the ‘Advance in Review Order’. A difficult manoeuvre at the best of times, but with the increased numbers of people on parade, it seemed as if we would never get it. After a while however we cracked it. The officers turned up in the afternoon to start their rehearsals, which involved going through the parade format with all of us. The aches and pains are still there, but after the last few days, it would seem that my body is starting to get ‘acclimatised’ to the drill manoeuvres. Looking forward to the next day so that we can start to learn the Parade Format and see it all come together. Roll on tomorrow!
Day 8 - 8th July 2008
Our second day of full rehearsals at Fairford went really well today. For the first time in a while we were not completely soaked to the skin whilst on parade. In fact, it was quite an enjoyable occasion, even taking into account the pain I was going through with standing completely still for most of the time. During the morning rehearsal, we even had a guest appearance. A speeding hare made a ‘streaker’ like dash across the parade square, flashing across the path of the parade commander. I guess he thought it was the Royal Hare Force on parade. The afternoon rehearsal was complemented by a vast array of aircraft practicing their flypast formations, which just added to the realism of the event. Our last rehearsal looms tomorrow evening, then the real thing. If we can just keep up the high standards we have attained then it will be quite a spectacle.
Day 9 - 9th July 2008
Awoke this morning with the thought of going to Fairford for our evening rehearsal, on a glorious summer night. How wrong could I have been? It has not stopped raining all day with the forecast not getting any better. Excuse the pun, but it has put a real dampener on the occasion. The thought of standing in the rain, soaked to the skin again does not fill my heart with joy. It is a real shame that the weather has turned nasty as our performance yesterday was impressive and we were looking forward to getting the last one done before the big day. Oh well, off on our bus trip again. What fun!!!