3 Sqn RAF Regiment
In the lead up to disbandment in April 2015, 3 Squadron RAF Regiment has been proactively ensuring that all of its gunners depart the Squadron this year appropriately qualified to undertake their next roles throughout the RAF FP Force.
November 2014 saw those SACs who have the potential for promotion to Lance Corporal (L/Cpl), undertake a challenging two-week pre-promotion cadre. The first week at RAF Wittering taught them tactics, command principles and how to operate as a second in command on a section. This culminated in a week’s exercise at Stanford Training Area (STANTA), where these new skills were tested in a series of flight level patrols and deliberate operations, ending in the defence of a Forward Operating Base (FOB). Subsequently, several of the SACs were selected for promotion on the Squadron to fill the void left by the outgoing L/Cpls.
The Squadron have continued to fundraise for the RAF Benevolent Fund after the tragic passing of SAC Andy Hallam last year. His personal effects were very kindly donated by his family to be auctioned for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Some outstanding bidding from Andy’s friends and peers provided the majority of the £2,815.10 raised. SAC Greg Curtis also raised the significant sum of £180 competing in Spartan Beast; a Half Marathon Obstacle Race.
The year started with an excellent Live Field Firing Package for the entire Squadron. A delightful snow covered Otterburn Training Area, in Northumberland, provided the arduous conditions to test the gunner’s professional capability and mettle. The range package began with gunners being assessed individually on their shooting and field craft skills. The package then progressively built up to operating at fire-team (four men), section (eight men), through flight level, culminating with a squadron level attack on the final day. The gunners performed admirably and, with continuous mentoring and feedback throughout the 10 days, developed leadership and management skills in some truly testing conditions.
Looking forward to the rest of 2015, the Squadron will be providing critical support to Hunter Guard Force at RAF St Mawgan, where tracking and patrolling skills will be tested in pursuit of individuals on the Escape and Evade section of the Survive, Evade, Resist, Extract (SERE) course. Following this, the Squadron focus will turn to the preparation for the formal disbandment activities on April 14, 2015. These activities will include a formal parade and dinner attended by notable dignitaries and will include former Squadron Commanders, Warrant Officers and ex-3 Squadron personnel. The final formal ceremony will see the laying up of the Squadron Standard in the College Hall Officers’ Mess at RAF College Cranwell, shortly after the parade in April.
Postings for Squadron personnel have already begun, and will continue throughout the Spring and Summer until all personnel have left the Station by November 2015. The Squadron will continue to actively engage in all aspects of station life, and we collectively pass on our sincere thanks to all who are involved in the sustained support during the drawdown of the Squadron.