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12 September 2017

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The Station Commander, Group Captain Chuck Norris MA RAF was delighted to welcome over 70 guests to the Annual Reception on 7th September 2017, which was hosted in the Officers’ Mess.

Station personnel enjoyed the company of the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, the High Sheriff of Shropshire, the Mayors of Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Telford and Wrekin, Wem and Market Drayton alongside a large number of distinguished guests. This annual event is held to thank local dignitaries, business leaders, youth workers and charitable services for their support and assistance throughout the year.

This year, guests were hosted by regular officers, reserves, senior and junior ranks, students, Civil Servants and contractors to demonstrate the organisational structure of RAF Shawbury and its success in delivering its outputs as a Whole Force. Of course no Autumn Reception is complete without a theme, which this year was 'RAF Shawbury, celebrating 100 years of flying.’

During the evening, personnel selected from all corners of the Station engaged with invited guests in a formal setting against a backdrop of display boards explaining Shawbury’s 100 year history.

The Station Commander took the opportunity to address the audience and highlight some of the important landmarks, starting with a brief history of the airfield remembering how it all started, 100 years ago and how different the airfield must have looked to how it is now. RAF Shawbury is very proud to be part of Shropshire’s military history and also the future; the commencement of rotary flying training, delivered by the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) contract commencing in April 2018, will ensure that the base remains an important part of Shropshire life. The first new Juno and Jupiter training helicopters arrived at RAF Shawbury in April 17 and future Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force pilots and rear crew will train on these modern aircraft as well as state of the art simulators in a purpose built facility, which is nearing completion.

The guests were then invited to transition outside for the Sunset Ceremony. Guests were treated to a performance by the Military Wives Choir as well as a perfectly timed parachute display, kindly provided by the Royal Air Force Falcons display team of Aerial Delivery Wing, Royal Air Force Brize Norton. The team performed a jump onto the sports field landing at their target time of precisely 6:55 pm. The Event concluded with the Sunset Ceremony when the lowering of the Ensign by a Tri-Service Colour Party was marked by a simultaneous flypast of a Squirrel and Griffin helicopter from the Defence Helicopter Flying School.

The Station Commander, Group Captain Chuck Norris said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome our guests to RAF Shawbury to celebrate our centenary. This event has been an excellent way to thank those local organisations and the wider Shropshire community who support the Armed Forces, in particular RAF Shawbury, enabling us to deliver world-leading training.”

RAF 100

Falcons

Photographs:

1. The Stn Cdr takes the salute from the Royal Air Force Falcons Display Team

2. The Royal Air Force Falcons display team land in front of the Officers’ Mess

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