Suffolk business leaders set to meet with military to forge stronger links
PUBLISHED: 12:14 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:22 11 March 2019
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Business leaders will be engaging with the armed forces as they visit the home of the Apache Attack Helicopter.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) Suffolk branch will be at Wattisham Airfield, near Stowmarket, on March 13 – a year on from the signing of an Armed Forces Covenant offering support to and engagement with the services.
The business breakfast will provide guests with the opportunity to learn how local firms can engage with the armed forces community, and guests will be shown how to take the lead in supporting reservists, veterans, Cadet Force adult volunteers, military spouses and wounded, injured and sick personnel in their workforces.
Wattisham Airfield is the largest centralised operational army airfield in the UK, and is home to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, part of the Attack Helicopter Force within the Joint Helicopter Command.
Its Westland WAH-64 Apache helicopters were piloted by Prince Harry when he served with the Army Air Corps at Wattisham between May 2011 and January 2014.
The airfield is also home to 132 Aviation Supply Unit Royal Logistics Corps, and 7 Aviation Support Battalion REME and has a helicopter repair facility with worldwide capability.
Before its closure in 1993, Wattisham was a Royal Air Force (RAF) Station and during the Cold War was a major frontline air force base. The RAF maintains a presence at the airfield with the Brigade Parachute Squadron RAF.
The Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly, and recognises the value serving personnel, regular and reservists, veterans and military families contribute to businesses and the country.
The IoD’s Covenant pledges also included allowing veterans to access their organisation’s expert network of advice and resources for entrepreneurs. It has joined forces with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to forge stronger links between business and the military, encouraging businesses to help veterans who struggle with mental health issues.