Sqns Leave Lyneham - 31 May 2011

Our Chairman was lucky enough to witness the rather sad and final parade of our Standard at the closing of flying operations at RAF Lyneham on 31 May 2011. What follows is a short account of the day and, when I have them, I'll post some photos in due course:

"March Off the Squadron Standards" - Wg Cdr APT Main OBE RAF

For 7 decades, RAF Lyneham has supported Operations around the world, but on 31st May 2011 the Squadrons paraded their Standards for the last time.

On a sunny but cloudy morning, in the presence of RAF Lyneham's Honorary Air Commodore, HRH The Princess Royal, the Squadrons paraded their Standards for the last time before moving to RAF Brize Norton. Present were many past Station and Squadron Commanders as well as members of the Lyneham Old Boys.

Led by the Band and the Parade Escort Flights, the Standards of 47 Air Despatch Squadron RLC, Nos 24, 30 and 47 Squadron were marched on.

As we awaited the arrival of HRH The Princess Royal, a chill wind, dark clouds and a light shower passed overhead - perhaps the weather was just adding to the thoughts of those who have very happy memories of their service at Lyneham and will miss the drone of Albert passing overhead. During the Royal Salute, the clouds lifted and the Albert formation flew over and added their salute.

After the parade was inspected, the address highlighted the many years of Service by RAF Lyneham and the many operations that the Hercules Squadrons had undertaken since the first Hercules arrived on 1 Aug 1967.

The Station Ensign was then lowered, as a C17 flew overhead and, with a Piped Escort, it was 'marched off' and presented to The Princess Royal.

After the 'Advance' the BBMF Dakota flew over to echo the Royal Salute.

It was a truly magnificent parade, with all the traditions of drill and ceremony that Lyneham personnel have always excelled at in front of the Terminal Building.

A sad day for many, but onwards and upwards as the Squadrons redeploy to RAF Brize Norton. In the true traditions of the Hercules Force, the Aircrew and all their supporters will soon settle in and be up and running for whatever is thrown at them.

For 30 Squadron, it is bound to be FLAT OUT and business as usual.