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2018/03

Sun, sea, sand and… snow?

IV Sqn 6 Ship

IV Sqn 6 Ship

The Beast from the East has arrived… no, we aren’t referring to Lt Fahad Al Qarni, but the unseasonable wintry weather we have been blessed with through the early part of the year. The newly re-designated IV Squadron have enjoyed a particularly busy couple of months, with a much improved picture on jet availability thanks to some excellent work from our partners at BAe Systems. Whilst the weather has been challenging at times, the Squadron has made great progress, with the joint graduation of course 22 and 23 sending 6 newly qualified fighter pilots to their OCUs (or for the lucky one, back to CFS to learn the black arts of becoming an instructor). A wealth of new qualifications have also been gained, with B1 upgrades for Flt Lts Pearce, Critchell and Crickmore, the Typhoon Tripod, aka Flt Lts James Critchmore, James Critchmore and James Critchmore. Flt Lt Osborne and Flt Lt Van Hessing are currently deep in the throes of their A2 workup, some say they currently see only in the regulation 4 colours of CFS and have nightmares about giant airborne manuals chasing them about the Squadron, we wish them well in their exams and hope they return to the real world soon.

IV Sqn

IV Sqn

Course 24 finally made it out of D/E Flight, without too much hardship despite their bestefforts, and are making good progress towards their graduation in the coming months, and we welcome course 29 to the fold, bringing with them a wealth of Reaper knowledge and not much else. Courses 26 and 27 are making good progress towards completing their 401 course as they move into the 1 vs 1 Basic Fighting Manoeuvres phase, where all the skills of their flying training so far will be tested and progressed until they are ready to move on to the more applied stage of their time at RAF Valley.

We also have waved goodbye to several members of the team at Happy IV, Disco has departed to the civilian world (for now), Tom Balicki has moved to become one of the first Texan T6 instructors, shortly to return to Valley, Steve Main has hung up his simulator headset and is also returning to the cockpit via the T6, and Dan Marsh can’t leave soon enough. We wish them all success in their future endeavours, and look forward to seeing them again soon. Coming up soon we have the multitude of preparations for the magnificent 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, along with various dining in nights and most importantly, the arrival of Spring to look forward to! As the temperature struggles to get above freezing, it can’t come soon enough.

In Futurum Videre