Monthly Archives: September 2012
The following RAF Regt personnel have been honoured today in the Armed Forces Operational Honours List No 39:
Mention in Despatches (MiD):
– Flt Lt S R Turner – RAF Regt – II Sqn RAF Regt – Operation HERRICK
– Cpl E J Hardy – Gnr – Operation HERRICK
– Cpl M R W Trevillion – Gnr – Trg Wg RTS(B) – Operation HERRICK
Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS)
– Flt Lt J Giffin – RAF Regt – 1 Sqn RAF Regt – Operation HERRICK
Joint Commander’s Commendations
– Cpl S Evans – Gnr – Trg Wg RTS RAF Honington – Operation HERRICK
– FS B J White – Gnr – RAF FP Centre RAF Honington – Operation ELLAMY
COMMANDANT GENERAL’S COMMENDATIONS FOR 2012
The following have been awarded CG RAF Regt Commendations in 2012 for their outstanding support to the Corps
– Mr David BLUNDRED – Wembley Arena Olympic’s Security Manager.
– Mr William EPPS – late East Kent Branch, RAF Regt Assoc.
– Mr Roy MISKELLY – Lincolnshire Branch, RAF Regt Assoc.
– Mr Bob OAKES – Comdr Regt’s Driver, RAF Honington.
– Signor Rossano NOVELLI – Instigator of the Reginald Barton Memorial Park in Italy.
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The events at Camp BASTION in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on the night of Fri 14 Sep 12 have been well documented in the media. Analysis of the action is still being undertaken; however, CAS sent the following note to CG RAF Regt:
“Last weekend’s events at Bastion Airfield have once again demonstrated the considerable wort
h of the RAF’s Force Protection capability and of the RAF Regt in particular. While there will, undoubtedly, be lessons to learn from this complex and well executed attack it is clear to me that the manner in which 5 FP Wg and 51 Sqn RAF Regt conducted themselves was indicative of the highest standards of both the Service and the Corps. Given the determined nature of the attack and the complexities of delivering a robust response under testing Combined and Joint conditions, it is considerable testimony to the leadership, agility and robustness of the Sqn’s gunners that the insurgents did not wreak more destruction and havoc at Bastion. I would, therefore, be grateful if you would pass on my sincere appreciation to those involved in repelling the attack but also affirm to your Force the considerable respect I have for them and the continued critical contribution they make in the delivery of Air Power.” CAS
Fifteen heavily-armed insurgents dressed in US Army uniforms and armed with PKM general purpose machine guns, AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades broke through perimeter defences and initially targeted tower guards with heavy fire. Tragically two US Marines were killed.
Subsequently they attacked the USMC flight line, damaging infrastructure and AV-8B Harrier jump jets. The RAF Force Protection Wing based at Camp Bastion was quick to react, deploying forces throughout the camp, with 51 Squadron RAF Regiment pushing out onto the airfield and the RAF Police from the Bastion Security Squadron maintaining security around key installations throughout the camp.
The RAF Regiment gunners’ aim was to reclaim control of the airfield. Supported by a number of different direct fire weapons, and co-ordinating the assault with members of 2/10 Battalion US Marine Corps, they moved methodically across the airfield engaging in various fire fights as they dealt with pockets of resistance over a period of some four hours.
Flight Lieutenant Andy Beney was the Force Protection Wing’s battle captain located in the Operations Room during the incident. He said:
“Everyone responded decisively, situational awareness was quickly established, and we were quick to deploy the necessary assets in order to deal with the attack as effectively as possible.”
Sergeant Al Bedford was the RAF Regiment incident controller in the Operations Room at the time of the attack. He said:
“We were attacked from multiple firing points; however, we quickly co-ordinated ground troops and air assets to suppress the enemy and then utilised those assets to clear the airfield of any remaining insurgents. We also co-ordinated medical support to the gunners on the ground and ensured resupply was timely, allowing the lads to maintain their momentum.”
Sergeant Roy ‘Doc’ Geddes was tactical commander of an RAF Regiment Flight consisting of 30 gunners on the airfield during the attack. He was himself injured during the assault, sustaining fragmentation injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade:
“I was the Quick Reaction Force commander when we responded to the attack,” he said.
“As I moved onto the airfield I could already see some Harriers on fire. We were soon engaged with the enemy who used small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades; however, my gunners were quick to react and returned fire, suppressing the enemy position.”
After the initial fire fight, 51 Squadron regrouped. Commanded by Squadron Leader Kev McMurdo they then systematically moved through the airfield ensuring that they cleared all the surrounding buildings and hangars. Assaulting one insurgent position and clearing the Harrier parking area, any remaining insurgents were dealt with quickly and effectively.
Co-ordinated by the Force Protection Wing’s Tactical Air Control Party, UK Apache helicopters provided overwatch to the gunners on the ground, suppressing a number of insurgent positions.
The successful operation had secured the airfield by the early hours of the morning, quickly allowing normal operations to resume.