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A Message from OC IV

Chris,

Before I hang my flying helmet and gloves for Christmas and 2017, I really wanted to take the time to pen an email to you and the Association. I was acutely aware that the Sqn and I could not attend the get together over the Remembrance Weekend and I was very sad that we could not meet properly. It is my intent to come over and meet the members at the next opportunity and tell them what we are doing on the Sqn, there are many challenges but much to be proud of. We also have RAF100 to look forward to in 2018 – RAF Valley and IV Sqn will be heavily involved including the full RAF Flypast in July in London and then at RIAT.

I am very proud to be Boss of what is now the largest fast jet Squadron in the UK, and by some margin. We have about 100 pilots, staff and student, who are on our book and about a further ten who regularly fly with us and all are doing amazing front line training using cutting edge technology. Indeed we have hosted some very senior people in my short time in the chair including the Prince of Wales, UK and Welsh Assembly Ministers, ACAS as well as several other foreign and UK 1,2 and 3* officers all of whom have been hugely impressed by the professionalism and performance of our people. I am trying to ensure that IV Sqn is rightly regarded as one of the best places in the world to become a fighter pilot – akin to the Oxford or Cambridge of fighter pilot training. I truly believe that the mixture of technology, in the air and on the ground, staff with recent combat experience and a depth of amazing instructional talent, mountainous flying areas and challenging weather, makes RAF Valley and IV Sqn a truly world leading place to work.

However, this week as I left the Sqn one night, I was struck by the Officer Commanding boards and the huge history of IV Sqn and the feats it has achieved over its long and proud service. I was humbled by the turnover of OCs during the World Wars and how much the Sqn did during the intervening years and in the Cold War – especially with the Harrier. I am so proud to be part of that history, a history that you and the Association represent and guard so well. It is with that in mind for 2018 that I look forward to next year and getting together. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all at FourFax and here is to a very exciting and successful 2018.

Best Regards

Rob Caine

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