RAF Wittering team given commendation in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

A team based at RAF Wittering has been given a commendation in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:05 pm
Force Protection Training Flight were actively involved in Exercise Resolute Convoy last year, keeping the core military skills of RAF Wittering personnel at readiness.
Force Protection Training Flight were actively involved in Exercise Resolute Convoy last year, keeping the core military skills of RAF Wittering personnel at readiness.

Force Protection Training Flight at RAF Wittering received the commendation from Deputy Commander Operations.

Force Protection Training Flight (FPTF) is a whole force team comprised of experienced regular and reservist instructors from the Royal Air Force Regiment and a civil servant. Their job is to make sure RAF Wittering military personnel are trained and up to date with their core military skills. Weapons handling, the use of respirators, and guard duties are just a few of the skills they teach.

During Exercise Swift Pirate, personnel from No 1 Air Mobility Wing (1AMW) at RAF Brize Norton trained at RAF Wittering as though the Station was an air base in a hostile country. Instructing the 1AMW team to protect the airfield, their encampment and themselves, and then putting those skills to the test, was the job of FPTF.

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This exercise is a major event in the Station’s calendar. Personnel from 1AMW deploy all over the world, making their core military skills a vital asset when working abroad. Thanks to FPTF, many additional personnel received the necessary training and were prepared for operations overseas.

Swift Pirate was only one aspect of an immensely busy period for FPTF. The team was selected as one of only five units to deliver specialist NATO capability and evaluation training. They also led the training in several cross-government exercises designed to prepare agencies and emergency services for major incidents and disasters.

The principal purpose of the RAF Regiment is to defend against adversaries across a wide spectrum of threats, wherever and whenever necessary. Part of this role is to prepare regular and reserve RAF personnel for the rigours of operations.

Flight Lieutenant Ross McDonald recently took command of FPTF at RAF Wittering. He said: “It’s a pleasure to assume command of a great team of focussed and dedicated instructors, who are superbly supported by our civilian admin clerk. It’s this combination that has allowed us to respond quickly and effectively to the many requests that have come our way.”

In 2018 a Grob Tutor aircraft from RAF Wittering made a forced landing in a field on the eastern side of the A1, close to the Station. FPTF quickly assembled a cordon party to secure the scene and ensure safety. In an impressive display of speedy responsiveness, the team assembled and 20-strong cordon team, was briefed, equipped and then deployed to the site within 30 minutes.

Group Captain Jo Lincoln, Station Commander at RAF Wittering and A4 Force Elements Commander, presented the team with their commendation on behalf of Deputy Commander Operations, Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew, at a socially-distanced ceremony.

Group Captain Lincoln said: “Firstly, congratulations to the team and a huge thank you for their work. Commendations of this kind are not earned easily or given lightly. Our FPTF has frequently gone above and beyond the call of duty, to support our personnel as they prepare for operations. This Whole Force team is a credit to the Station.”