New crop of RAF gunners graduate at Suffolk air base

Wing Commander Turner (left) reviews the parade during the graduation Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD

Wing Commander Turner (left) reviews the parade during the graduation Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD - Credit: Cpl Dave Blackburn, RAF

A new generation of RAF gunners have been praised after successfully completing 20 weeks of initial training during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new gunners were praised for completing their initial training during the Covid-19 pandemic
Picture: CPL DAVE...

The new gunners were praised for completing their initial training during the Covid-19 pandemic Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD - Credit: Cpl Dave Blackburn, RAF

The 17 newest members of TG 2-20, El Alamein Flight graduated at a foggy RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, on Friday morning, with proud family and friends attending the ceremony virtually.

Wing Commander Stephen Turner, reviewing officer, hailed the trainee gunners and said they should feel “justifiably proud” for their achievements during the coronavirus pandemic.

“To succeed in phase two training requires uncompromising levels of field-proficiency, teamwork and determination, in preparation for the rigours of operational service.

“The coronavirus pandemic has added to the challenges of an already demanding course, confirming the ability of these young men to prevail through adversity,” he said.

The graduating gunners at a foggy RAF Honington Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD

The graduating gunners at a foggy RAF Honington Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD - Credit: Cpl Dave Blackburn, RAF


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“The graduating gunners should feel justifiably proud of their achievement, and the contributions they will make in the coming weeks and months, in support to the nation’s priorities.”

MORE: Will future of US air base at Mildenhall come under the spotlight again?Due to Covid-19, the graduation took place behind closed doors, and is the third ceremony to have been livestreamed for families and friends.

The six trainee gunner flights of the Regimental Training Squadron are named after historically significant RAF Regiment actions – El Alamein Flight commemorates the famous WWII Western Desert Battle Honour of No II Squadron RAF Regiment from its antecedent, No 2 Armoured Car Company.

Trainee gunners on El Alamein Flight on parade during the foggy graduation ceremony at RAF Honington Picture: CPL DAVE...

Trainee gunners on El Alamein Flight on parade during the foggy graduation ceremony at RAF Honington Picture: CPL DAVE BLACKBURN/MOD - Credit: Cpl Dave Blackburn, RAF

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