Senior Aircraftman Scott Hughes dies in Cyprus
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Senior
Aircraftman Scott 'Scotty' Hughes serving with Number 1 Squadron Royal Air Force
Regiment died in Cyprus on Sunday 7 November 2010 following injuries sustained
in an accident.
Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Hughes was returning from operations in Afghanistan and
died from injuries suffered in a boating accident that took place on Friday 5
November as his unit was undertaking decompression activities.
He was due to return home to the UK the following day.
While swimming in the sea he was struck by a power boat operated by the Military
Training Wing, British Forces Cyprus.
© UK Crown copyright 2010
58 Sqn RAF Regiment reformed
58 Squadron RAF Regiment at RAF Leuchars in Fife, and No 8 RAF Force Protection Wing Headquarters at RAF
Waddington in Lincolnshire. Both have been formed in response to high
operational demand in Afghanistan for the specialist Force Protection
capabilities they provide, and their formation will increase the time that their
personnel spend between operational deployments.
27 December 09
27 Sqn RAF Regiment has taken part in a raid on a bomb factory in
Members of C-Flight 27 Sqn RAF Regiment, from RAF Honington, following a
request from the Afghan National Police, supported a raid on an
insurgent bomb factory in a village south of Kandahar City.
The raid took place two days before Christmas and resulted in six people
Entry was gained by the gunners driving a Panther armoured vehicle at
the compound gate and smashing it open.
C-Flight gunners rushed in and carried out a swift search of the
Senior aircraftman Edward Stubbings said: “It's extremely nerve-racking
at first. The first time I did one I was a bit scared because the
information was saying that there were possibly bombs laid out as booby
traps. It's nerve-racking every time you kick down a door because you
don't know who's behind it.”
Group Captain Steve Horne, officer commanding 8 Force Protection Wing,
added: “Not only have we found an IED [improvised explosive device] in
place that won't now go onto the street, we found lots of components,
but also six key individuals involved in IED bomb-making have been taken
off the streets.
“That leads to much better security in this area and the outlying areas,
but also demonstrates the increased ability of our Afghan national
5th August 2009
63 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment received a heroes' welcome as they
paraded through their hometown of Uxbridge today, Wednesday 5 August
63 Squadron have been on active duty in
Afghanistan since February. Their primary role was to protect Kandahar
Air Base in the south east of the country and ensure its smooth
operation for UK and coalition forces (© UK Crown
of No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment who have been defending Kandahar
Airfield, its aircraft and the thousands of Coalition Forces
personnel operating there, have been awarded their International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medals.
Of the 144 members of 1 Squadron deployed,
124 personnel gathered on parade on the airfield to be presented
with their medals by Commander Kandahar Airfield (COMKAF), Air
Commodore Andy Fryer.
Despite the wind and sand, medals were issued
to each member of the squadron before COMKAF addressed the
He told the parade that they had both
succeeded and delivered on their mission to protect the airfield
to an extremely high level and said that he was proud of the
results that they have achieved and that they should all return
home with their heads held high.
The squadron, who originally arrived in
theatre on 16 August 2008, have faced the whole range of weather
conditions from sweltering heat and sandstorms to rain, mud and
Whatever the conditions, the squadron have
spent most of their tour out on the ground, maintaining security
in a large and dynamic Ground Defence Area.
This particular deployment has also seen
additional tactics employed. Flight Sergeant Statham explained
what has set this deployment apart from previous tours:
"The most gratifying part of this operation
has been the implementation of the mortars counter-firing in
response to IDF [indirect fire] attacks. This is the first time
the RAF Regiment have engaged in this activity, probably since
"The counter-fires, combined with targeted
illumination fire plans, have reduced freedom of action and
movement for the insurgent rocket teams. This has enabled
continued air operations but has also generated increased
security for over 12,000 multi-national personnel operating on
Officer Commanding 1 Squadron RAF Regiment,
Squadron Leader Lee Morgan, said:
have worked hard during the tour to provide a secure environment
from which air operations can continue unhindered. Every member
of the squadron has understood the importance of air power to
both the NATO and UK mission and the role that we have played in
the delivery of that capability.
"The squadron has had a significant impact on
insurgent IDF teams operating in the Area of Operations,
reducing the frequency and intensity of attacks. Through
targeted influence operations, we have attempted to persuade the
local population to act against insurgents intent on attacking
Kandahar Airfield. Of course, we have also worked hard to
maintain our own freedom of manoeuvre, constrained by a
relatively high level of IED [Improvised Explosive Device]
"The men (and woman) on the squadron have
worked extremely hard in difficult conditions, with some
outstanding individual performances. The squadron is now looking
forward to a well-deserved period of recuperation and time with
The squadron remains focused during their
last few days in post, carrying out their mission with the same
professionalism and determination that has characterised the
previous six months.
They will formally hand over to No 63
Squadron RAF Regiment (Queen's Colour Squadron) at the end of
Special box delivered by RAF Regiment - Sunday 28 December 2008
village of Al Mithar, near Basra, southern Iraq, took delivery of a new school
classroom from the back of truck on Christmas Eve 2008, thanks to the 51
Squadron RAF Regiment (Regt). The Squadron is normally based at RAF Lossiemouth,
Scotland but is currently serving as the Resident Filed Squadron in Basra, Iraq.
The portacabin was reallocated from the Contingency Operating Base (COB)
supplies to be used as an extra classroom in the village ‘Al-Assil’ kindergarten
school. The village is regularly visited by 51 Sqn RAF Regt on their daily
patrols of the area outside the COB. These patrols help deter would be attackers
of the COB and its aircraft movements in and out of the base as well as allowing
the local community to interact with members of the coalition forces.
The school head teacher, Mrs Khasmah said:
“This is very good. Yes, very good and we are all very happy, thank-you!”
The cabin was transported in a large convoy that passed through the ‘Basra
Gates’ monument en route to the village. The convoy that consisted of up to 9
vehicles including the load carrier and crane passed through the gates without
incident. The Iraqi Police Service had been forewarned of the convoy’s intent to
pass through the choke point some days before. This communication further
demonstrates the keen level of trust that now exists between coalition forces
and the Iraq Security Forces (ISF). The convoy also passed freely through the
Al-Waki market, the scene of an RAF Regt/Insurgent battle in 2007.
The BBC’s Defence Correspondent Caroline Wyatt and her cameraman, along with
the artist Xavier Pick who is currently in Iraq collecting imagery for his
paintings also came along on the operation and viewed the benign security
environment first hand.
Flight Lieutenant John Rees, 51 Sqn RAF Regt Deputy Squadron Commander said:
“The event was the culmination of a minor renovation project that the
squadron had facilitated in the village and to deliver a portacabin on Christmas
Eve was the icing on the cake. The day has been a great success largely due to
the squadron’s close ties with the Iraqi Army, Police and local community and is
a true reflection of the improving relations within out area of operations.”
Senior Aircraftsman (SAC) Leverton, ‘C’ Flight Bulldog (an armoured vehicle
variant) commander said:
“It’s always nice to help people out where we can. It’s great to work with
the ISF and they proved their capabilities here today. I was last here in 2006
and things have progressed beyond recognition”
SAC Ansell, ‘A’ Flight gunner said:
“The ability to carry out operations like this shows how ‘on-side’ the locals
are. Although we carry out a patrol pattern 24hrs a day, 365 days a year, the
fact we did something like this on Christmas Eve adds a nice touch”
1 SQN RAF Regiment Head For Afghanistan
(1 July 2008)
It is a scene that is becoming all too common for our troops in
A routine patrol turns into disaster as an armoured vehicle hits
a crudely-made Taliban roadside bomb, causing horrific injuries
to the military personnel inside.
But for members of a battle-scarred RAF Regiment, it was a vital
training exercise yesterday as they prepared for one of their
most challenging deployments to date.
Less than a year after returning from a tour of Iraq in which
they lost four comrades, more than 160 gunners from 1 Squadron
RAF Regiment, RAF Honington, took part in their final mock
battle before six months of protecting Nato forces at Kandahar
airbase in Afghanistan.
Four months of intensive training came to a head at the Stanford
Training Area, near Thetford, yesterday as personnel dealt with
the aftermath of a mock explosion involving a roadside mine.
The lowland forest and heathland of Breckland is a long way from
the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, but three real-life
amputees with fake blood were used to make the scenario as
realistic as possible as the squadron was tested on the
realities of being on the frontline in the war-torn country.
Gunners yesterday spoke of their concern, but also confidence
about getting the job done. After their August deployment, they
will have to contend with minus 20C temperatures during the
Kandahar winter nights.
News of the deployment of 1 Squadron RAF Regiment comes after 13
members of the British Armed Forces were killed in the country
in June - the second-highest death toll since operations began
in November 2001.
Sqn Ldr Lee Morgan, officer commanding 1 Squadron RAF Regiment,
said morale was “high” within the unit, despite the losses
during their last operation in Basra, Iraq. “We know what the
threat is in Afghanistan. We have been operating as a regiment
there for two years, but we are not complacent. We know the
Taliban are resourceful and constantly evolving their methods
and we are constantly evolving our training to make sure we are
the best prepared we can be,” he said.
Yesterday's exercise was the culmination of four months of work
with the RAF Regiment training wing involving basic soldiering
skills, weapons and vehicle training, and combat first aid.
Sqn Ldr Morgan added: “It is true that we are a busy regiment
and busy across defence. We are returning to operations in
Afghanistan just under a year from operations in Iraq and the
only way we can deal with that is to address the quality-of-life
issues and look after the men and families well when they are
“Unfortunately we find ourselves in another theatre, but this is
what we signed up for and we are prepared for that.”
Sgt Rob Williams, of 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, added that the
unit had become “tighter” and “more united” since their tour of
Basra airbase last year, in which Senior Aircraftmen Matthew
Caulwell, 22, Peter McFerran, 24, Christopher Dunsmore, 29, and
Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard, 20, were killed.
He added that colleagues in Kandahar, Afghanistan, were dealing
with increased attacks from Taliban rockets, improvised
explosive devices and suicide attacks.
“We are expecting it to be very tough and if it is not, it is a
bonus,” he said.
“It is a worry because we are taking out young lads to
Afghanistan and as commanders we do worry for them. You only
have to be unlucky once, but the training prepares you very well
and we are all confident in the men we are taking out there.”
1 Sqn RAF Regiment and The Battle Of Al-Waki Market, Basra
The heroism of a Royal Air Force Regiment patrol that stubbornly
refused to submit during an ambush by Iraqi insurgents near
Basra has been recognised with major awards.
Despite withering firepower from more than a dozen rooftop
locations after 1 Sqn RAF Regiment came under a hail of gunfire
that lasted 90 minutes, the Regiment gunners fought their way
out carrying an shot comrade and another who had been mortally
Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard died during the battle in
August last year as he pinned down insurgent gunmen firing from
the flat roofs of buildings surrounding the market place at Al-Waki,
a small village a few miles north of Basra Air Station that lay
within the Area of Operation assigned to the RAF Regiment.
The Regiment’s task, then as now, is to protect the air station
and the assets flying in and out by patrolling the several
hundred square miles of desert around the Station against enemy
action. As well as patrolling the immediate area around the air
base, the Regiment conducts hearts and minds and reconstruction
patrols in a wider area which takes in dozens of villages and
communities - the aim being to foster good relations,
demonstrate resolve to insurgents and improve the lives of
As a result of the action – the first major foot patrol battle
involving the RAF Regiment since UK forces arrived in Iraq in
2003 – three of those involved in the “ferocious fire fight” at
Al-Waki have received operational awards.
Cpl David Hayden was awarded the Military Cross for outstanding
gallantry, selflessness and personal example during the
ferocious battle. He is the first Airman to receive the Military
Senior Aircraftman Benjamin Wharton (24) from Daventry was
Mentioned in Dispatches for courage and determination in the
face of the enemy by providing covering fire from his Land Rover
despite being hit in the chest with a bullet which knocked him
off his vehicle.
Commanding Officer of 1 Sqn RAF Regiment, Sqn Ldr Jason Sutton
(42) from Watford received the OBE for his outstanding
leadership over a relentless six month detachment and making a
safe and secure area around Basra Air Station. He lost three of
his gunners on 19 July last year when a rocket attack struck his
Squadron’s accommodation. A further 6 were injured, but he
motivated his men to continue delivering all tasks, including
lethal use of snipers which struck terror into the hearts of the
enemy. At Al-Waki he placed himself in the thick of the fire
fight which tested his resourcefulness to the full
It was in encroaching darkness on Aug 7 last year when a 40-man
patrol from 1 Sqn, left Basra Air Station on a routine foot
patrol in the market place of Al-Waki village to show presence
and reassure local people that they were being protected by
British forces and were safe to go about their businesses.
Although relations with the locals in the area was good overall,
earlier in the tour 1 Sqn snipers killed an insurgent who had
been caught in the night sights of their rifles unloading
equipment ready to fire off a rocket-propelled grenade at the
air base. Also in the days running up to the 7th there had been
a large contact to the North of Al- Waki where with great skill
and courage, C Flt of 1 Sqn had defeated an attack on their
patrol. In addition, there was intelligence that the insurgents
were claiming to have re-taken the area around Al-Waki and
pushed out Western forces.
Sqn Ldr Sutton said: “We had arrived later than planned at Al-Waki
because on the way we had come across a suspect command wire
that might have been linked to a bomb. But on arrival in the
village my unit had just started talking to local stallholders
via an interpreter about how we could help them apply for grants
to build their businesses when the first shot was heard. It
sounded like it came from Qarmat Ali, a village to the north.
“The market starts to come alive at this time of the day because
it is cooling off, but still the temperature was in the
mid-40’sC. I remember being offered fruit by one of the
stallholders just as the shooting began. It was an unremarkable
start to a routine patrol with no foretaste of what was to come. “At first the firing was sporadic, but suddenly one of my
corporals was hit in the leg and within moments heavy fire was
coming in from all directions and we took cover and we returned
fire. We called for assistance from our back-up, but all radio
communications went down.
“One of my corporals said he felt the splash of rounds on his
back, which was luckily protected by our Osprey armour and
another man’s helmet was grazed by a round.”
Suddenly the cry “man down.” was heard and Cpl Hayden, who was
second in Command of a sub unit of B Flt, aided by one of his
men, ran out into the open to bring LAC Beard, who lay mortally
wounded, into cover. As he did so he took on enemy gunmen,
accounting for at least one in the process. The remainder of the
patrol deployed rapidly to assist the withdrawal of B Flt and
after a pitched battle lasting over 30 minutes, the enemy had
been suppressed, though many were still firing.
Although being constantly exposed to enemy fire Cpl Hayden
carried LAC Beard a further 200 metres to safety. With absolute
disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly risked his life in
order to rescue a wounded comrade and rally his men to extract
themselves. He also further exposed himself by returning to LAC
Beard’s location to pick up his kit.
Cpl Hayden said: “It was not long after the first shot that
there was effective fire coming at us from all sides. It was
either a planned ambush or locals hearing the fire fight and
deciding to join in with whatever weapons they could find. It
was coming at us from everywhere and rounds were spitting up the
dust in the road. Another Flt to the East of the market place
was also pinned down by rifle and sub-machine gunfire.
“There were at least a dozen firing points. But we were giving
as good as we were getting and picked off quite a few gunmen as
they exposed themselves to fire.
“We felt the enemy were so close by now that we would have fixed
bayonets had we had them to hand.”
While LAC Beard was being rescued, SAC Wharton was the heavy
machine-gunner providing covering fire from one of just two
weapons-mounted Land Rovers in the area. As such he was
completely exposed in his unarmoured, open-topped vehicle.
Suddenly he was hit in the chest by a ricocheting enemy round,
knocking him from off his vehicle. Despite this he recovered his
position and continued to provide accurate covering fire for
almost an hour while his injured colleagues were rescued and
others exited the fire fight. His citation read: “There can be
no question that Wharton’s action was instrumental in
contributing to the eventual withdrawal of the enemy, the
successful evacuation of the casualties and the safe extraction
of his colleagues. Without Wharton’s exceptional courage,
determination and skill, the outcome could have been very
Cpl Hayden received the Military Cross for his outstanding
gallantry, selflessness and personal example in the face of a
particularly ferocious attack from a determined enemy. His
citation read: “Without a second thought for his own safety,
Hayden volunteered to carry the injured man out of the fire
fight. He dashed across open ground under a hail of enemy small
arms fire. Hayden ran fully upright with the man on his
shoulders to safety, having been exposed to enemy fire for the
whole distance. He repeatedly showed the most outstanding
courage selflessness and personal example. His bravery was of
the very highest order.”
Cpl Hayden added: “We had to get across open ground under fire
to reach a road known as Flowerpot Road where a Merlin
helicopter was waiting to uplift the casualty. The pilot of that
helicopter, which was exposed throughout to enemy fire, was as
brave as anyone that evening.
Eventually all the men from the three Flights involved were
accounted for. Said Sqn Ldr Jason Sutton: “We estimate there
were about 50 insurgents attacking us during the sustained
assault. They were very organised. But we estimate that we were
able to take out at least 16 of them. Tragically we lost LAC
Beard but he displayed the same courage as the rest of the
patrol until he was hit. We drew some comfort from his falling,
weapon in hand, fighting for and alongside his comrades. Our
six-month tour in Basra was especially challenging due to the
incessant rocket attacks – almost 800 in total while we were
“I am honoured to have received the OBE for my part in the tour,
but I have nothing but unstinting praise for my men who were
magnificent throughout this most demanding time. We lost three
of our squadron the month before when a rocket was fired into
Basra Air Station and the Al-Waki and C Flt contact incidents
were the RAF Regiment’s first major dismounted troop contacts
with enemy forces since 2003. It was successful as we displaced
the insurgents and were still in charge in the Al-Waki district.
This allowed us to continue to work with the Iraqi people in the
area to help them reconstruct and develop their communities”
RAF gunners to be sent to Basra 06/02/08
RAF gunners on a previous deployment to Basra in 2004
RAF gunners based at a Scottish air station are to be deployed
to Iraq almost a year after returning from operations in
Members of 51 Squadron RAF Regiment returned to Lossiemouth in
Moray last September and will be posted to Basra later this
They were supported in Kandahar by 20 reservists from 2622
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 Scottish troops are to be sent to
A number of gunners were given permission to grow beards, which
is considered a mark of authority in Afghanistan, for the
six-month deployment to Kandahar airfield.
The RAF said it was believed to be the first time personnel were
allowed to grow beards for an operation.
On their return to Lossiemouth, flight commander Kevin O'Brien
said the beards had been a talking point amongst village
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed Scottish battalions are to
be sent to Afghanistan.
Defence Secretary Des Browne's announcement is part of a
rotation of British forces in Afghanistan.
It will involve soldiers from four of the Royal Regiment of
Scotland's five regular infantry battalions.
RAF Gunners train to the last minute before Iraq deployment
(23 Jan 08)
With just a few days before they deploy to Southern Iraq, RAF
Regular and Reservist 'Gunners' have been training in the
forests of Norfolk's Stanta battle area.
The RAF Regiment train for their upcoming deployment where their
role will be to help protect the last British base in Iraq
The RAF Regiment is the ground fighting force of the RAF,
providing force protection to the UK's air assets, wherever they
are located. The Regiment has been protecting the British base
near Basra airport since 2003.
Those preparing to deploy in the next few days are from No. 3
and No. 2 Squadrons, along with a number of Reservists from 2620
(County of Norfolk) Squadron RAF Auxiliary Regiment. Their role
will be to help protect the last British base in Iraq, reducing
mortar and rocket attacks and cutting the risk of roadside
bombings and shootings.
Wing Commander Phil Lester who will have 450 personnel under his
"Not only is it our job to protect the people operating in the
base, but also to help the Iraqis move towards becoming able to
deal with a whole array of security situations.
"The threat level out there is constant, though not at the level
of attacks in Basra last year."
"Not only is it our job to protect the people operating in the
base, but also to help the Iraqis move towards becoming able to
deal with a whole array of security situations."
Wing Commander Phil Lester
Four RAF Regiment personnel were killed in Basra during a
deployment there in 2007, three of them killed in a rocket
attack on the base:
"The security situation has got better but we will have to be
constantly on our guard and always be prepared for the worse
case scenario," said Wg Cdr Lester.
Many of the RAF Gunners deploying to Iraq returned from
Afghanistan in April 2007, where they were deployed to protect
the ISAF base at Kandahar airfield. Wg Cdr Lester explained what
they have been doing since:
"They have been put through their paces to make sure they are
again ready to deploy. It has been intensive, but we are ready."
Part of those paces were this latest exercise at the Stanta
training ground, where an ambush sceanrio was created, the type
of which they might have to face in Iraq. The January weather in
Norfolk though doesn't even come close to the 50 degrees summer
heat they will face in Basra.
The RAF Regiment's role will entail heading off mortar attacks
But the RAF Regiment is used to Iraq, as Wg Cdr Lester said:
"It has been in Basra since the spring of 2003 and the knowledge
we have collected and the understanding we have of the ground
and the whole dynamic of operation is unmatched by anyone else."
Reservist Leading Aircraftman Robin Batchelor, aged 23, is
undertaking the deployment as part of his gap year before going
"The training has been intense, a step up from what we are used
to but it will be a good tour."
RAF Regiment get credit ?
A FORMER head of the RAF yesterday said he hoped air force
gunners would get the credit they deserved after unveiling a
monument to commemorate their contribution in the Falklands
Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns paid tribute to the work of
ground fighting RAF Regiment members across the world as he
officially uncovered a stone memorial at its headquarters in
The former chief of air staff, who is now honorary air commodore
of the regiment, based at RAF Honington, near Thetford, said he
hoped that the air force's contribution in the Falklands 25
years ago and its continued presence today would never be
Sir Richard, who is now governor of Windsor Castle, was joined
by Falklands veterans and serving RAF gunners from 1 and 2
Squadrons, who have been performing forces protection roles in
Iraq and Afghanistan this year, for a service to mark the
unveiling of the Black Eagle Monument at Honington yesterday .
The memorial, which uses the black eagle emblem of the 63
Squadron RAF Regiment that operated Rapier surface-to-air
missiles during the liberation and defence of the islands a
quarter of a century ago, is an exact replica of one that was
erected at the former RAF Stanley airbase in the Falklands in
Sir Richard said it was a “privilege” to have been commander of
63 Squadron, which served at short notice in the Falklands
between May and September 1982 and was the last ground
operational unit involved in the conflict to return home.
“This monument is very, very important not just for 63 Squadron,
but to all the people over the last 24-and-a-half years who have
manned the air defences there. People understandably focus on
Afghanistan and Iraq and forget about the Falklands Islands and
the fact that British forces are still serving there.
“I think that the RAF Regiment's contribution has never received
the credit that is due and this will serve as an inspiration for
future airmen and gunners,” he said.
Retired wing commander of 63 Squadron, Ian Loughborough , who
brought home all of his gunners from the Falklands, said it was
“brilliant” to see former colleagues again and that the regiment
was being commemorated
Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional Ltd EADT24
15 Sqn RAF Regiment 18/10/07
Following a dawn raid in the nearby village of Mandi Sar earlier
this week, the squadron arrested and detained the wanted
The Afghan, who cannot be named for operational reasons, is
believed to have carried out numerous attacks on the airfield
and coalition forces.
Neil Rawsthorne, commanding officer of 15 (Field) Sqn RAF
Regiment who led the raid, said his boys were well prepared for
the dangerous mission.
"The lads were really up for this one and most of the combat
service support personnel were desperate to be a part of the
operation. That kind of enthusiasm is great to see," he said.
"My intent was for the operation to be smooth and swift and my
troops were magnificent throughout."
The operation was carried out as part of a planned surge in
force protection activity in the vicinity of Kandahar Airfield,
just three days after the team took over the base
34 Sqn RAF Regiment
Members of No 34 Squadron Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment,
currently serving at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra,
Iraq, have completed a project to install mains water for the
first time, in a village located approximately 10 km from Basra
34 Squadron, from RAF Leeming, are serving as the Resident Field
Sqn (RFS) in Basra and are closely involved in the
identification and initiation of Civil-Military Co Operation
projects (CIMIC), aiming to improve the infrastructure and the
quality of life for the local civilian population.
“Project Aqua 4” was completed in time for local Ramadan
celebrations. The project saw the installation of mains water by
locally employed Iraqi contractors. The village, consisting of
approximately 350 families, now has access to 57 standpipes.
The aim of Project Aqua 4 was to provide the village with
running water for domestic use and to maintain their herd of
water buffalo. The water, piped in from a water treatment plant,
replaces an aged system of monthly truck deliveries to the
village. Until the completion of this project the villagers were
totally dependant on those water deliveries to sustain their
livelihood. As a result of the project, not only is there a
constant supply of fresh water, but the villagers’ milk yield
has increased by 3 litres per buffalo per day. This significant
increase has motivated the villagers into wanting to build a
small shop to sell the surplus milk to local cheese makers and
earning them much needed income.
Sheikh Naeem said, “This water project has made my village a
much better place and our animals are already much healthier and
producing better quality milk”
34 Squadron took over the running of the project when they
replaced 1 Squadron in August, who tragically lost 4 of their
personnel during their tour in Iraq. They follow a long line of
RAF Regiment deployments in Iraq dating back to 2003 that have
completed dozens of similar CIMIC projects in the local area.
Having completed this project, the Squadron is already midway
through installing a similar project in the next village.
Flight Lieutenant Ed Cripps, Deputy Squadron Commander of 34
Squadron, “We talk to villagers like this everyday when on
patrol and it is very rewarding to be able to do something which
improves their quality of life and income.”
One of the villagers stated, “We are very happy
19th July 2007
The three RAF servicemen killed in a rocket attack 19 July 07 have been
named by the Ministry of Defence. Matthew Caulwell, 22, and Peter
McFerran, 24, from 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, and Christopher Dunsmore,
29, of 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment - all Senior
Aircraftsmen - died on Thursday when the Contingency Operating Base in
Basra came under fire.
'They were all exceptional and talented young men whose professionalism
and selfless commitment will not be forgotten,' said Defence Secretary
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