The happy and fun loving members of IV(R) Squadron returned with various wounds of unspecified origin mostly healed after the Christmas break, eager to brave the January storms and return to the air. With silly season completed with just a broken chair, some new carpet and no major visits to A&E in December, the Squadron returned to work with all the keenness of a beaver that recently almost lost his home to an unexpected house fire. The Squadron returns lighter by one exec having waved goodbye to Sqn Ldr Tim Nassif just before Christmas… until his inevitable return. As we all know, no one ever really leaves “The Island”. We are also soon to be freed from the Aryan poster boy that is Stalker who leaves us for DHL, and everyone’s favourite CFS agent, Rich Dennis who is heading to Canada. Our best wishes go to all.
Since the last issue the Squadron has been making the most of the relatively mild winter we have all enjoyed so far. Our congratulations go to PT for achieving coveted A2 status as an above average instructor, along with new Instrument Rating Examiner Tom Balicki. The Squadron has also managed to briefly escape the island on a winter deployment to Orange, a French Air Force base in the south of France. Despite some poor weather during the second week of the Det, 96 sorties were achieved, focussing on QFI training for courses 11 and 12. Dissimilar Air Combat Training saw battles for air supremacy between the brave and mighty Hawk T2s and the obviously lesser French Mirage 2000s, passenger flights for both nations were exchanged, and an excellent amount was achieved. The hosting provided by 2/5 “Ile de France” and FAF Orange was predictably impressive, and we look forward to seeing them again soon.
On the arrivals front, a fresh-faced batch of students with all the bravado that goes with finishing their BFJT course at Linton has arrived on Course 24, ready to be guided through their A flight journey by none other than the unintelligible angry Scotsman that is Gaz Clark (everyone’s favourite naval Creamie). We also welcome QFI course 12, who have actually been around since September and have recently started flying. In February Course 25 arrive and we also look forward to welcoming the new Station Commander to the Moran Building with QFI course 13, (unlucky for some) around the same time. Courses 19 and 20 have progressed onto the simulator section of the course known as B Flight, where gashing it in comes naturally and stalling is a thing of the past (or so they think!). Along with new arrivals, the Squadron is looking forward to the Burns night towards the end of January, the imminent graduation of course 17 (and the inevitable fun and games at their streaming) and the departure of Stalker.
In Futurum Videre