Explosive end to family day at Wattisham after Red Arrows thrill crowd

The explosive finale to the Attack Helicopter Display Team's performance at Wattisham. Picture: JA

The explosive finale to the Attack Helicopter Display Team's performance at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS - Credit: Jamie Peters

Wattisham Flying Station is today undamaged – despite the best efforts of the Army Air Corp to provide a spectacular end to this week’s Family Fun Day at the station.

The Red Arrows wow crowds as they fly over one of the Apache static displays at Wattisham.
Picture:

The Red Arrows wow crowds as they fly over one of the Apache static displays at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS - Credit: Jamie Peters

The annual event for station personnel, their families and base contractors featured a short display by the Red Arrows on their way to the first day of the Clacton Air Show and a demonstration of the power of the base’s own Apache helicopters who rounded off the event with an explosive demonstration by the Attack Helicopter Display Team (AHDT).

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME - Credit: Archant

It showcased the agility and speed of the Apache, with pyrotechnic explosions simulating its gunfire and rockets and real time radio transmission between the pilot and simulated ground forces.

The Red Arrows display team get the families' day flying display under way at Wattisham.
Picture:

The Red Arrows display team get the families' day flying display under way at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS - Credit: Jamie Peters

The event marked the 60th anniversary of the Army Air Corps and 75th anniversary of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers which both have units based at Wattisham.

Two year old Edward controlled one of the Army trucks at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS

Two year old Edward controlled one of the Army trucks at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS - Credit: Jamie Peters

Colonel Chris Bisset, Commander of Wattisham Flying Station, said: “This has been a great occasion that has brought the entire Wattisham community – soldiers, their families and civilian contractors – together to celebrate significant milestones for the Army Air Corps and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME - Credit: Archant

“It’s great to see the effort units have put in to make this such a splendid event. It’s vitally important that we look after our soldiers’ families, because they are the foundation from which we build our operational effectiveness.”

A family enjoy a look around an Apache helicopter on the static display area at Wattisham. Picture

A family enjoy a look around an Apache helicopter on the static display area at Wattisham. Picture: JAMIE PETERS - Credit: Jamie Peters

Corporal Shaun Cole, a medic from 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, brought his wife Samantha and daughter Evelyn, one, to the event.

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME

The Red Arrows flying over the Wattisham Family Day. Picture: STEVE PLUME - Credit: Archant

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Mrs Cole said: “It’s been interesting and enjoyable to come in to the airfield to see a bit more of what Shaun does at work, and there have been some fantastic displays. The Red Arrows were fantastic, but there’s nothing quite like the Apache!”

While this was a private event, members of the public were able to watch the Red Arrows’ display from the side of roads near the base – with spectacular pictures of the display in flight being taken by local photographer Steve Plume, a very different subject to his usual wildlife pictures.

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