The RAF Police Formally Open Training Facility

13 April 2016

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No 3 (RAuxAF) Tactical Police Squadron, based at RAF Honington, had their training facility formally opened by their Honorary Air Commodore, The Lord Stevens of Kirkwelpington, in a formal ceremony on Saturday 9th April.

Demonstration of Air Transport Security capabilities

The ceremony, which was attended by a variety of civic dignitaries, civilian police and RAF representatives, marks the transition of No 3 Tactical Police Squadron (3TPS) following their move from RAF Henlow to RAF Honington in June 2015.

The facility will be known as RAF Kai Tak in memory of 18 RAF Police Non-Commissioned Officers who died in an air crash on 29th June 1946 whilst serving in the Far East. It is housed in a former cold war hardened aircraft shelter, consists of a training police station, plus a search house and is unique to 3TPS being the only one of its type across the Royal Air Force.

It is designed to hone the skills of the personnel on the squadron, in particular the day to day operations expected in a real time RAF police station and provides the opportunity to practice crime scene and house searches in a protected environment.

Lord Stevens formally opens the training facilityLord Stevens, the highly respected former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, became No 3 TPS’ Honorary Air Commodore in 2007 and during his opening speech said: “I have been involved in policing for a long time and this is one of the best facilities of its type I have seen.

“This is an extraordinary Squadron, you are extraordinary people, and I have been privileged to see you serve and come back from serving in places right around the world.”

3TPS is a Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron and was the first RAF Police Reserves unit, having been established in 2001. There are now 200 RAF Police reservists in six locations nationally and 73 of these are stationed at RAF Honington.

Although no previous military or law enforcement experience is required to join 3 TPS, approximately half the Squadron had this type of experience when joining. The part time nature of the role is very similar to Special Constables embedded in the civilian police, but the roles vary greatly with personnel undertaking specialist duties ranging from Air Transport Security, Military Working Dogs to Close Protection.

With some personnel from the squadron currently deployed overseas on a variety of tasks supporting the RAF Police, Officer Commanding, Sqn Ldr Jim Kirkbride, is particularly pleased to see the training facility formally opened and said: “We would like to thank RAF Honington for providing us with this first class training facility. It will undoubtedly provide exceptionally well trained RAF Police Reservists who will support regular forces on any given task worldwide.”

Editor: Sal Davidson

Photographs:

Demonstration of Air Transport Security capabilities.

Lord Stevens formally opens the training facility.

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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