41 Squadron Update
This update comes amidst a time of uncertainty for the nation, where the requirement for military support is ever changing, as I am sure you can appreciate. The Sqn are well placed and primed to support in various different roles as directed if or when the time comes.
Following a well deserved Christmas break, a contingent of the Sqn headed out to Nellis AFB in Jan 20 to take part in Exercise Red Flag 20-1. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for the team to work in collaboration with other nations and their platforms, where they gained valuable tactical and training experience. The opportunity is normally afforded to one of the front line units and used as the primary training opportunity in preparation for operational deployment, but the benefit has been equally realised by 41.
On 1st April 20, Wg Cdr J McMeeking passed command of 41 Sqn to Wg Cdr L Gordon, following a final handover flight and small hangar gathering.
Our best wishes to all 41 Sqn Association members and their families during this unsettling time.
Red Flag 20-1
Royal Air Force personnel are participating in Red Flag 20-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in the United States.
Typhoon and Lightning multi-role fighters, supported by a Voyager tanker, are being flown daily alongside United States Air Force, U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force counterparts in the most complex and demanding air combat training available anywhere in the world.
Red Flag, the giant air combat exercise held annually in the United States, has tested participants to the limits.
It is one of the pinnacle exercises of the RAF calendar and this year has been no exception; Typhoon, Voyager, Air Operations staff and, for the first time, Lightning have spent three weeks in Nevada honing their skills with American and Australian counterparts.
And it's not the aircraft that play a big part. In the weeks leading up to the three-week exercise over 250 tons of equipment required to sustain and support the exercise arrived at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada via land, sea and air in a complex logistical move.
Read more ➡️ http://bit.ly/RAFRedFlag20
New Year’s Honours List
Congratulations to all the RAF personnel who have been recognised for their efforts in this year’s New Year Honours List!
While we couldn’t really expect 2019 to repeat the glitz and glamour of the Royal Air Force’s centenary year, it was still incredibly busy. We saw the first successful deployment of F-35 Lightning on operations; the retirement of the much-loved and unbelievably effective Tornado; the first flights of Poseidon, the RAF’s new multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft; the Typhoon Force continuing to participate in counter-Daesh operations and, for the first time, in air policing operations from Iceland; and, most recently, an RAF A400M supporting search and rescue efforts off the southern coast of Chile.
When reflecting on the past year I find it interesting to observe just how important the activities of No 41 Squadron have been to the wider success of the Royal Air Force. That the Typhoon Force could effectively deploy Brimstone (the RAF’s hyper-precision strike munition) on Op SHADER was only made possible by 41 Squadron’s extensive and intensive trial work. Similarly, the retirement of Tornado could only occur after Typhoon could field new air-to-ground mission capabilities;
No 41’s delivery of Project CENTURION to the Typhoon Force was truly pivotal to this. Meanwhile, the Squadron’s second home, NAS China Lake in the Mojave Desert, was hit by a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake. And yet the Squadron still found time to support a memorial service at RAF Coltishall to celebrate the lives of the personnel from No 41 Squadron who perished during a coach accident in Germany in 1983.
Our association has continued to keep former members of the Squadron in touch with each other and, of course, with the Squadron of today. It is with regret that we have seen one of the most active members of the Association, Andy Myers - our founding Chairman, step down from the role to pursue new business opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Andy did a truly brilliant job for us for which we are all immensely grateful. His shoes will be tricky to fill but fill them we must. Please may I encourage anyone with even the slightest interest in taking up this role to contact me for a chat.
2020 will be important for the Royal Air Force. It will see the practical launch of Project
ASTRA, a bold initiative to fast track the Royal Air Force towards 2040. ASTRA will accelerate good ideas into service and blend them with a powerful and dynamic vision for our future. There is no doubt in my mind as to the importance of this project in ensuring the ongoing credibility of our air force. Facing new dynamics in defence and security, and a complex blurring of the lines between peace, conflict and crisis, the RAF simply must adapt to the realities of multi-domain operations. ASTRA will ensure that its people, equipment, structures and processes are properly configured to do just that.
As we celebrate Christmas and New Year, some 2000 RAF personnel will be supporting 15 missions, on 4 continents, in 22 countries around the world. With very special thoughts to them, their families and the loved ones from whom they are separated, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, peaceful and enjoyable festive season and a prosperous and healthy New Year?
Sir Christopher Harper KBE
No 41 Squadron Association
The Royal Air Force and Virgin Orbit have selected the RAF pilot to be seconded to the company’s ground-breaking small satellite launch programme.
The partnership between the RAF and Virgin Orbit was unveiled at the Air and Space Power conference in July and following a tough selection process, Flight Lieutenant Mathew ‘Stanny’ Stannard has been selected.
Flight Lieutenant Stannard is currently a Typhoon pilot with one of the RAF’s test and evaluation squadrons and is scheduled to join the pioneering Virgin Orbit programme next year, pending final US and UK regulatory approvals.
Read more: http://bit.ly/RAFVOPilot
An exceptionally busy period for the Sqn leading up to the culmination of Project CENTURION and the anticipated role out of Brimstone onto Typhoon FGR4, which will in turn allow the retiral of the Tornado GR4 force in early 2019. Blessed with the recent good weather and consistent hard work to ensure aircraft availability, the Sqn has made positive progress on all current trials with the hard work and high tempo set to continue well beyond the New Year.
Meanwhile, the Sqn had a significant presence at the RAF 100 parade in London in July with the standard displayed alongside other current serving sqns in one of the biggest displays of RAF personnel and aircraft in recent history. A cadre of 25 sqn personnel travelled to Saint-Omer, France in Sept to join the RAF 100 events arranged and discover the history around the Sqn’s involvement during WWI and exposure to the wider impacts of the war. This provided an excellent opportunity for the group of predominantly junior sqn members to gain a greater understanding of the Sqn’s historical relevance.
Looking forward, the Sqn is deep into the planning phases for trials for 2019, with another deployment to America due within the coming 12 months.
We would like to welcome Flt Lt Linda McLean to the Association Committee as the Military secretary. Linda takes the place of Flt Lt Laura Frowen, who has been posted from 41 Squadron on promotion.
Flight Lieutenant Linda McLean in an engineer, whose short service has principally been in the ISTAR field.
After completing a Master’s degree in Aero-Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2013, McLean undertook Initial Officer Training at Cranwell before posting to RAF Cosford in October 2014 to complete her Engineering Officer Foundation Course; she received the Air Cdr Chris Green Memorial Award upon graduation in June 2015. In her first tour, McLean was posted as a JEngO to 5(AC) Sqn at RAF Waddington. During this tour, McLean deployed as the engineering lead on OPs on 6 separate occasions and was involved with Ex RED FLAG 16. Following a selection process by Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) in mid-2017, McLean was selected to complete a Flight Test Engineer (FTE) course in the USA at the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in the first half of 2018. She is now in post as a Fast Jet FTE/Trials Management Officer with 41 TES, RAF Coningsby.
Flight Lieutenant McLean’s interests include playing the bagpipes with RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums, and playing rugby union and league for which she has been capped for the RAF Inter Services squad for 3 seasons. She has also recently been selected for the UK Armed Forces Rugby League squad for 2019.
Updates and news direct from the Committee