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.
On this day in 1918, the Royal Air Force was formed following an Order in Council made by His Majesty King George V on 22 March 1918, resulting in the union of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
On the inauguration of the Royal Air Force, His Majesty the King, sent the following telegram to Lord Rothermere, the President of the Air Council:
"Today the Royal Air Force, of which you are Minister in Charge, comes into existence as the third arm of the Defences of the Empire. As General-in-Chief I congratulate you on its birth, and I trust that it may enjoy a vigorous and successful life."
100 years later Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has issued this statement from Buckingham Palace:
For more information on RAF100 events around the UK you can visit the official website:
Flt Lt Laura Frowen will be taking part in one of the toughest adventure races in the world: The GODZone Pure. The race runs from 1st-10th March 2018, in the stunning Fiordland in New Zealand. More than 390 racers, from around the world, will compete in unsupported teams of four, travelling across approximately 373 miles (600km) of wilderness. The race will consist of up to 10 days of non-stop racing, including sleeping in the elements, navigating at night, as well as canyoning, coasteering, kayaking, running, mountain biking, orienteering, packrafting and trekking.
The team are no strangers to a challenge. They are drawn from a dozen or so people across the service who have competed together over the past 4 years, fitting races in around their operational deployments. Jamie Buckle is the captain and driving force behind the team. He has competed in 3 AR World Series races and 2 European Series AR events as well as many one-day events in the UK. Recently he completed the Jurassic Coast Challenge (100km from Poole to Bridport) and the Ring of Fire (135 miles around Anglesey). Laura Frowen, navigator, first started adventure racing in a 4 day Hebridean Challenge in 2006 and after a hiatus took up the sport again in 2015. She has competed in an AR World Series race (2017) as well as a Euro Series AR event (2016). As an ultra runner, she has completed the Northern Traverse (190 miles and 16000 ft of ascent across northern England) and several UK Series Mountain Marathons. Charlie Butterfield raced the Euro Series AR (2016), and has competed in the Jurassic Coast Challenge and Marmot Dark Mountains mountain marathon. And Penny Grayson, the most recent addition to the team, brings proven endurance and athletic power after many years of racing ironman triathlon (as a GB age-group athlete) as well as completing the Jurassic Coast Challenge and the Ridgeway Challenge (86 miles along the Ridgeway to Avebury Stones).
Laura Frowen explains how adventure racing can be so inspirational:
For me the defining moment in recent races was in Expedition Africa in early 2017. It was the end of Day 3, and we had spent 2 hours queuing at the top of the Tyrolean Traverse, waiting for our turn and catching some sleep. We got going at about 0100hrs and after an uneventful abseil across the river, with the water glinting below in the dark, we started canoeing downriver. It was my first experience of night paddling and the still, inky water was unnerving. I felt great - really awake and full of energy - but kept losing my balance as the dark water seemed to give me an odd sense of vertigo. (That, and when I stopped to check the map, the fact I couldn’t work out which was the front of the paddle blade, told me that in fact I was, in fact, very, very tired!!) But the chance to paddle down this remote river in the middle of South Africa, with the stars overhead, was utterly magical, one of those moments when you have to stop and just think: “Wow, look at where I am and what we’re all doing!” Coming from a background in ultra running, I love being able to share these moments with other people. After something to eat at the end of the paddle section, we headed out on a trek section which started with a bracing swim across the river just as the sun was coming up.
Original Webpage Article: Facebook
Words from Artist Steven Heyen:
A recent presentation of one of my paintings to 41 Squadron at RAF Coningsby by John Lloyd, who is the nephew of Phillip David Lloyd, pictured by his Spitfire. The painting was apparently very well received and is now mounted on a wall at the squadron HQ. In the photo are the outgoing Wg Cdr Steve 'Raz' Berry, John Lloyd, Sqn XO & USAF exchange pilot Dennis 'Metro' Muller, and incoming Wg Cdr James “Jody” McMeeking. The Squadron had a change of command on this day, and the new Cdr received the painting on behalf of the Squadron.
This blog entry has been made possible by Mike Bradbury.
Over the last few months in and around Shrewsbury there have been two functions with Eric as a big part in his memory.
The first one held on March the 3rd at Bayston Hill, the village of his birth, when a stained glass window was unveiled in his memory by Flight Lieutenant Laura Frowen 41 Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Chaskin OC 611 Squadron and Rosemarie Jones, Eric's niece.
On the 24th of June Shrewsbury held it's Armed Forces Day, at 23 30 on the 23rd running up to this a light show was put on, this covered pictures starting back as far as the Boer War up to present day of people from Shropshire who served in the armed forces. These images were projected onto St Chads Church and a large part of this show was devoted to Eric, and for just this part I did the voice over telling just a short part of his service with 41 and 611 Squadron's and his life story.
Updates and news direct from the Committee