RAF HONINGTON NAMES A NEW ROAD AFTER ITS OUTGOING COMMANDANT GENERAL
In keeping with age-old RAF Regiment tradition, a road at RAF Honington - the Home of the Corps - has been named after their outgoing Commandant General, Air Commodore Russ La Forte.
At an unveiling ceremony held at RAF Honington today, the Air Commodore declared La Forte Lane officially named.
It has long been a tradition in the RAF Regiment for past Commandants of the Regiment Depot to have barrack blocks and buildings named after them and, for past Commandant Generals, roadways. It is also traditional that the road names reflect a degree of alliteration, hence previous road names include ‘Abbotts Avenue’, ‘Drissell Drive’ and ‘Thorn Terrace’, to name but a few. Fortunately, they haven’t yet had a Commandant General whose name begins with a ‘z’!
The Commandant General is the professional head of the RAF Regiment and Air Commodore La Forte passed the responsibility to Air Commodore Nick Bray in Dec 2011.
Serving in the RAF Regiment is becoming something of a tradition for the La Forte family. In December of last year Air Commodore La Forte was the Reviewing Officer for the graduation of the latest batch of Junior RAF Regiment Officers, one of whom was his son, Flying Officer Andrew La Forte, now serving with 34 Squadron RAF Regiment at RAF Leeming.
The Royal Air Force Regiment are the RAF’s ground soldiers whose primary function is the protection of its airfields. The RAF Regiment are celebrating their 70th year and were established by Royal Warrant on 1st February 1942. Their motto is 'Per Ardua', translated as 'Through Adversity', and its insignia comprises crossed No.4 Lee Enfield rifles encircled by an astral crown.
Quote, Air Cdre La Forte - 'It has been the greatest privilege of my career to serve as the Commandant General of the RAF Regiment, a Corps in which I have served at both ends of the rank spectrum, having joined it in 1978 as a gunner. To have a road named after me at RAF Honington is of course a great honour. However, having served as Force Commander here at Honington and then Commandant General throughout a period of unprecedented operational tempo in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been humbling to witness the professionalism, unswerving fighting spirit and sacrifice of all those members of the Corps in the frontline of ensuring the delivery of air power in defence of our Country. It is they for whom the greatest honours should be reserved; I salute them all.'