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Harrier Withdrawal From Service – Ceremonial & Social Events

From Jim Arkell, the Sqn Uncle:

Harrier Withdrawal From Service – Ceremonial And Social Events

Following the UK Government’s announcement that the Harrier is to be withdrawn from Service, a series of events will be held over the next 3 months as a fitting tribute to a wonderful aircraft and to the people associated with it for the past 41 years of service. The first such event will be a celebration of UK Harrier VSTOL at RAF Cottesmore culminating in a 16-ship final flypast in December. Later events include the Squadrons’ disbandment parade at RAF Wittering in January, for which a commemorative brochure will be produced. In addition, moves are afoot to form a Harrier Force Association to cultivate links within the Harrier community and organise reunions from time to time.

The purpose of this note is to alert you to the UK Harrier VSTOL event at RAF Cottesmore on 15 December 2010*. The format includes the following: an exhibition of Squadrons’ memorabilia and photographs in 1(F) Squadron’s hangar; hangar refreshments; viewing a number of Harrier videos including a live-feed of the formation briefing; the 16-ship aircraft departure, fly-past and recovery; pilots’ walk through a guard of honour, concluding with an all-ranks happy hour. The hangar will be open from 1100hrs until 1730hrs with the flypast due to take place at about 1500hrs. The route and general timings will be notified in due course such that those who do not wish to come to the Station can view the flypast from vantage points further afield. The route encompasses the following stations: Wyton, Wittering, Cranwell, Waddington, Scampton, Coningsby and finally Cottesmore.

If you wish to attend the celebration at RAF Cottesmore, please get in touch with me by e-mail as soon as possible on “4sqn-uncle AT mod.uk”. Details required include your name, association with the Harrier community (former rank, where and when), whether accompanied and, if so, by whom, car details (make, model, colour and reg no) and mailing address and tel no. Please advise whether you intend arriving in time for lunch. Please also advise if you only wish to be notified by e-mail of the detailed route and timings nearer the day.

In addition, if you wish to be invited to the Squadrons’ disbandment parade at RAF Wittering on the morning of 28 January 2011 please pass the above details to Flt Lt Sam Vincent at “4rsqn-trgofficer AT wittering.raf.mod.uk” or leave a message on 01780 783838 ext 7892.

Yours sincerely

Jim Arkell

* The event is weather dependent and could be held on 14 or 16 December; date and time will be confirmed by recorded announcement on 01572 812241 x 7046

N.B. If you have any questions about these events the best person to call is Sally Dawson on 01572 812241 ext 7046

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