14 Squadron King of the Skies
Back in the UK we can’t keep our personnel in one place too long as we’ve been taking part in everything from Skeleton bobsleigh in Austria to Swimming, Cycling and Running in Israel, Walking in the Lakes, staff rides to London, sky diving all over the UK and even a night at the Dogs in Peterborough!
Fresh from her debut in Insight Magazine earlier in the year Rachel Mills has continued the relentless push for more silverware on her mantelpiece. This time she’s been in Austria as part of the RAF Skeleton Bobsleigh team and she’s been on the trophy hunt again. We’re very proud to say she’s one of ours as she came back clutching a 2nd place in the Royal Navy Champs and a Bronze in the Inter-Services. She was also an integral part of the RAF team who claimed victory in the Inter-Services Team event. All this from someone who’s only been involved with the sport for 18 months! Truly impressive Rach, well done.
Given our wealth of riches in the talent department on 14 Squadron we have another elite sportswoman that we are very proud of – Sarah Hazell has just returned from a trip to Eilat where she was representing Team GB in Triathlon. Whilst Sarah has been competing for a number of years at the highest level we are always humbled to have her as one of ours, having finished an amazing 7th in the European Championships. She also competed in the Enduroman in Lanzarote finishing in a tremendous 3rd place and has just finished a full ironman event, probably as a warm down – keep up the great work Sarah!
We don’t let the ladies hold all the limelight across on 14 Squadron though, and not to be outdone Jim Coupe has been busy throwing himself out of light aircraft…for fun!? He is the Captain of the newly formed RAF Sports Parachuting Association 4-way Formation sky diving team (now that’s a mouth full!). Jim and his team have been busy practicing since early March and have already secured a Sliver and Bronze medal in the seasons first two events. With each jump filmed then scrutinised and a freefall of 35 seconds to complete their sequence it really is a high adrenaline, white knuckle experience. Jim will be taking his team to the British Nationals later in the summer, all the best to him and the team.
Mike Gormley, another of our Insight regulars has been out and about recently as part of Exercise Decisive Eagle. Mike spent the week out in the hills of the Lake District personally developing himself…and learning the value of good quality waterproofs, or rather, not packing them. Alex Harman is ready for the next adventurous training event now that he is on a creatine fuelled Operation MASSIVE program – we will keep you updated on how 14 Squadron’s very own bronzed Adonis progresses but the signs are good. After 2 months of intensive training and strict adherence to the new protein based diet, he has put on half an ounce!
The Squadron was very proud to host its inaugural Ladies Guest Night in the Officers’ Mess on 30th June. With a full house it was an opportunity to thank the wives, girlfriends and partners who support the Squadron throughout the year. The night was a raucous success with the disco playing well into the early hours. It was a chance for us to ‘dine out’ members shortly departing but more of that later! Keep an eye out for 14 Squadrons next social event though as they are quickly being recognised as the invite to receive on station for a good night out.
A huge welcome to 14 Squadron to our new band of merry engineers who have arrived from across the RAF. Along with a select group our own established, operationally experienced engineers they will be heading off to Barry College to complete their Licensed Engineer training, which, following a short period of time in industry will see them rejoin us fully qualified.
As our ranks continue to swell a huge congratulations to Jim and Laura who are now the very proud parents of Joseph and also to Al and Lisa who were married in early April. Although not confirmed we’re expecting Zinky to ‘pop the question’ soon, so keep your diary free for an invite.
Sad news for 14 Squadron is the departure of three of our largest characters. Richie, Sarah and JW; this is a great opportunity to thank them publicly for their tremendous service to the Squadron and wish them the very best in their next postings. There were certainly some sore heads after their leaving drinks but a healthy injection into the local nightlife’s economy!
Until the next edition, thank you to the Station for their continued support and we wish everyone a fantastic summer 2012.
Flight Lieutenant Gav Scott