Congratulations go to the 19 members of TG 5-19 El Alamein Flight that have graduated here at RAF Honington today. Usually attended by families and friends, the graduation took place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Reviewing Officer, Wing Commander Stephen Turner; Officer Commanding, Training Wing said:
“Usually, an occasion like this is marked with a firm handshake and with friends and family present to share in the achievements of the graduating Gunners. Today has been a more sombre event, marked with a knowing nod, at range, from the staff who already wear the coveted RAF Regt mudguards. Generating trained manpower to support the UK Armed Forces’ contribution to the COVID-19 response plan, amongst other enduring operational commitments, remains critical to the Service. The Gunners on parade should feel justifiably proud of their achievement, and the contributions they will make in the coming weeks and months in support to the Nation’s priorities. Now, more than ever, their new motto rings true – Per Ardua (through adversity).”
Station Commander Group Captain Matt Radnall said:
“I am very pleased to see the latest cohort of RAF Regiment gunners graduating today. Given the current measures in force to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, this is necessarily a muted celebration, but still acknowledges the tremendous effort each individual has invested to earn the right to wear RAF Regiment mudguards on their shoulders. RAF Regiment training continues only where it is absolutely essential to sustain our capability. These graduates are now able to be deployed with their new units as required to meet the threats faced by the RAF, at home and abroad.”
Over the past few weeks, RAF Honington has gone to great lengths to ensure that our directed training activity, deemed essential to the maintenance of RAF operational capability, can be delivered as safely as reasonably possible. This approach includes adherence to Government guidelines, including social distancing, wherever possible.
These Next Generation gunners will continue to face challenges that like Covid-19 are unpredictable and fall outside the traditional model of warcraft.
On graduating from this course, over half of the LACs are posted to 1 Squadron RAF Regiment here at RAF Honington, with the remainder posted to either 34 Squadron RAF Regtiment at RAF Leeming or 51 Squadron RAF Regiment at RAF Lossiemouth, whereby they will be trained to such a level that they can immediately commence Mission Specific Training for contingency operations.
Further congratulations go to the Prize Winners
Frank Sylvester Trophy: LAC Pinsent
To commemorate her late husband’s dedication to the Corps and in particular to the training of young Gunners, his widow presented the Frank Silvester Trophy for award to the best all-round Trainee Gunner of each course.
The RAF Regt Association Trophy for Drill and Deportment: LAC Pitt
This award is made to the Trainee Gunner who has developed an excellent military deportment, assessed both on and off duty, on the parade square and, most importantly during field exercises
WO Ramsey Physical Development Cup: LAC Goodall
This prize is awarded to the Trainee Gunner who achieves the greatest improvement during the physical development course.
LAC Beard Recruits’ Trophy: LAC Pinsent
This trophy is awarded to the Gunner who has been voted by his peers on the Course as the most inspirational and supportive member of the Flight. The recipient of this trophy has provided loyalty, dependability and motivation to those around him during the toughest moments of the training
SAC Luders Champion Shot Trophy: LAC Forbes
This prize is awarded to the Trainee Gunner who has shot consistently well throughout the course. He would also be the student who has shown consistent military awareness, on battle and field-firing exercises, in the selection of his shooting positions and use of cover. He would also be one who has demonstrated consistently a high standard of weapon handling and safety awareness throughout the course
Cpl Bradfield Trophy: Cpl Broster
The Corporal Bradfield Trophy preserves the example of the past embodied by Corporal Bradfield, in the standards set by the JNCOs of today. It is awarded to the Corporal Instructor who has displayed leadership, motivation and above all else has set an exemplary standard for the recruits to follow.