5001 Sqn Reaches 75th Anniversary
Royal Air Force Engineers past and present converged at RAF Wittering to mark the 75th anniversary of 5001 Squadron.
5001 Squadron’s history stretches back to the Second World War and has its origins in the RAF Airfield Construction Branch. The Branch constructed and repaired runways, hard-standings and buildings as required by the Royal Air Force at home and overseas.
Over 70 people attended a special anniversary lunch, which was held in the Officers’ Mess. It was a rare opportunity for the Squadron, which meaningfully contributes to so many current operations, to catch up with old friends and celebrate its achievements over 75 years.
Squadron Leader Colin Green commands 5001 Squadron. He said: “I think what makes 5001 Squadron special is that we’re ‘real-world’ engineers. You can have all the sophisticated equipment in the world, but sometimes the world can stop for the want of a valve – and that’s when you need the skilled hands-on engineer.”
Today the engineers and technicians of 5001 Squadron are just as busy and hard-working as the ant depicted on the squadron crest implies. Wherever the Royal Air Force is deployed, 5001 will build the temporary hangars needed to house the fast jets and provide a safe working environment for ground crew.
The Squadron maintains the environmental equipment needed to control temperature and humidity in the temporary hangars. 5001’s portable workshops can produce custom-made repairs whenever they are needed and, as if that were not enough, the Squadron repairs military vehicles used by the RAF around the world.
Station Commander Group Captain Rich Pratley said: “This is 75 years of a remarkable engineering tradition in the Royal Air Force, taking a bare patch of land and making it useable for aircraft. Times have changed but, in essence, this is still what 5001 Squadron is about; those essential engineering skills we can’t do without.”