The Fighting Fourth have emerged successful from the dark despair of the December into Winter days. Despite one of the worst winters in’tour’ memory the bad weather appears to be clearing us into Spring and the Sqn successfully graduated another course, namely Course 13 to the front-line. In parallel, the Sqn has produced 4 new instructors for A Fit, so congratulations to them; S/L Altoft, Lt Clark and Fit Lts Bass and Poole. Some old, some new, some bold and some a little green around the edges but the ?rst creamies (?rst tour instructors – Bass and Clarke) for the Sqn have settled in really well to their instructional duties. Finally on the new instructor front, congratulations to Ben Polwin, Will Hardesty, Colin Bartwicki and James Boning on their A2 (Above Average) Instructor categorisation, all that work really paid-off.
Some of the Sqn managed to escape some of the bad weather on detachment to French Air Force Base, Solenzara on the island of Corsica where the ?ying pushed ahead a number of the courses while the home team took shelter… The medium level airspace just off the coast is excellent for our use and the mountains can look spectacular on recovery. For the ‘ex-mud-movers’it is a crying shame we are not allowed to ?y low level through that landscape.
The Sqn has been involved in a couple of high pro?le ?ypasts during this reporting period including a Royal Flypast as a four-ship for the Search and Rescue Disbandment with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance. Secondly, IV(R) Sqn were invited to join 208(R) Sqn during a photo-shoot ?ypast to celebrate their Centennial Anniversary and mark 40 years of Hawk TMkl ?ying. This unof?cally yet symbolically marks and completes the hand-over of ab initio fast-jet training for No 4 Flying Training School here at RAF Valley, as 208(R) have graduated their last course of students.
Maintaining the theme, IV(R) Sqn continue to welcome new members. So welcome to courses 19 and 20 starting on the ?rst element, the 401 sylabus. The new instructor course was welcomed in the last article but they have all completed conversion and are now part way through assimilation into the B Fit ORGanisation, again welcome (resistance is futile).
Sadly, we have to say goodbye to some big characters soon as a bit of an exodus starts with some of our most experienced instructors moving to pastures beige… Mark’Forest’Thompson leads the departure with more names to follow. The very Best of Luck to Forest and Jody and to the others planning their departure who will be mentioned in articles to come. Thank you leaving this Sqn in better shape than you found it, for tidying your coffee mugs when reminded and keeping a smile on your face when all around you are losing theirs. As is the air force way, people come, people go, some people come back and stay a while, the Sqn continues, working with its partners, training for the future. Thank you to the new and the departing. In Futurum Videre