Station Commander’s Foreword

With Group Captain Jones deployed on Operation ELLAMY, it has been my great privilege to assume the role of Acting Station Commander for the past two months. Whilst it has been a very busy period, I have enjoyed the role immensely and will always be grateful for the opportunity. 

It has allowed me to witness at first hand the commitment, tenacity and successes of our people during this challenging period. The pace of the year so far has been unrelenting and as the weeks pass the operational tempo persists without offering any kind of breathing space. Whilst this edition of Insight quite rightly highlights the invaluable contribution our personnel and assets are making in support of operations in both Afghanistan and Libya, it is clear activity here on Station remains equally high.  I am delighted with your response, particularly during an extended period of uncertainty and transition; it is obvious that whilst we plan for the future we also remain very focused on the job in hand.  This issue also includes a very informative article on co-manning; whilst we here at Waddington are all focused on Operation HERRICK and Operation ELLAMY some of our colleagues are working towards the next platform to be based at Waddington – the Rivet Joint.  During these busy times we were also fortunate to host a visit to Waddington personnel detached in the Middle East by our Honorary Air Commodore, His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex. Squadron Leader Gordon Hall, the Force Element Detachment Commander, has given us his insight of the visit.

The impact of generating airframes, resource and people has been acutely felt across all areas of the Station. It is obvious that fighting spirit remains high and we have not been found wanting.  It is important therefore, that we continue to support our families, as without them we cannot do our business.  I am clear that we must ensure that our people have the opportunity to get together to have fun, express their concerns and share problems.  In this regard, the Community Support Squadron has been extremely busy, providing a number of bespoke events for deployed personnel and their families.  These events are extremely important and will continue whilst there is a real need. It is also my intent, a view shared by the entire Station Executive, that we continue to listen closely.  Mindful of the burdens placed on what seems to be our most limited resource, people, where possible, we have alleviated and removed any distractions in order to allow you to concentrate on support to operations. 

As we creep ever closer to the 2011 Airshow it is essential we remain focused. This year’s show again promises to be a fantastic weekend and advance ticket sales have already exceeded expectations. The event offers an invaluable opportunity for RAF Waddington to showcase the Royal Air Force at its very best and I expect people to be diligent and mindful of their responsibilities in the lead-up to and during the event itself.  I will rely upon you to identify what is important and what needs to be prioritised and achieved.  Already extremely heartened by your response I know, as ever, you will exceed expectations.