Royal Air Force Brize Norton
Number 30 Squadron Centenary Celebration
On the 24th March 2015, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, attended the Centenary parade of Number 30 Squadron held at Royal Air Force Brize Norton.
The Princess Royal, who is Honorary Air Commodore to RAF Brize Norton, reviewed members of the Squadron on parade in front of a small audience, marking 100 years of significant history. The parade marched to the music of The Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
Past and present members of the Squadron were invited to the event, which was held in the Air Tanker Services maintenance hangar. Afterwards, a reception was held at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess to give crews and guests the opportunity to reminisce about the merits of previously flown aircraft and the Squadron’s current aircraft type, the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules.
Wing Commander Andrew Garbutt, Officer Commanding Number 30 Squadron said:
“Today marks the 100th Anniversary of Number 30 Squadron’s formation to the day and, fittingly, we will begin our Centenary celebration with a parade reviewed by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. While our role may have changed over the years, what has not changed is the dedication, hard work and excellence displayed by the men and women of Number 30 Squadron. Our current task is not glamorous but it is vital. To all past and present members of Number 30 Squadron, Ventre a Terre!”
On 24th March 1915, Number 30 Squadron was engaged in reconnaissance duties, patrolling the Sinai desert while defending the Suez Canal where operations continued until October 1915. Much of the Squadron’s service was conducted in the Middle East and the aircraft operated include the French Maurice Farman MF.7 Longhorn and MF.11 Shorthorn aircraft, the Westland Wapiti, the Hawker Hurricane II, the Douglas C-47 Dakota and the Hercules C-130K/J. On the 1st July 2011, the Squadron, along with the Hercules fleet made its final departure from Royal Air Force Lyneham, heading for its new home at Royal Air Force Brize Norton.
In 2008, it was decided that Number 30 Squadron would become the second Royal Air Force Squadron to re-equip with the A400M Atlas, the first of which, arrived at Royal Air Force Brize Norton late in 2014, and is likely to convert in 2017.