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March 2002

During the month the Sqn carried out UK based training from RAF Cottesmore. Flt Lt Hanlon joined the Sqn from the OCU and started the Day Combat Ready Work up. Several work ups were completed during the period, these were; Flt Lt Berry (Pairs Leader), Flt Lt Rutland (Day Combat Ready) and Flt Lt West (Night Medium Level Combat Ready).

The Sqn carried out a week of ACT in the ACMI range. The use of the ACMI pod allowed for excellent real time control and proved an extremely valuable de-brief tool. The use of the ACMI range greatly improved the quality of the Sqn?s ACT. Throughout the month the Sqn conducted day and night CAS with both 3 Cde Bde and JFACTSU at Dartmoor, Otterburn and Spadeadam.

Four aircraft carried out an Overseas Training Flight to IAF Aviano. Two aircraft from IV(AC) Sqn carried out a flypast with two Sea Harriers from 801 Sqn to welcome HMS Illustrious back into Portsmouth. HMS Illustrious had been on a 7 month cruise and IV(AC) Sqn had been embarked on her during Sep and Oct last year.

A group of 17 students from the Senior Logistic Management Course visited the Sqn. They were given the Sqn brief and shown around one of the aircraft. The group included senior officers from foreign airforces. A group of students from Loughborough College visited the Sqn. The Deputy Commissioner for Racial Equality, Ms Beverley Bernard, visited IV(AC) Sqn as part of a visit to RAF Cottesmore. The purpose of the visit was to examine equal opportunities at work. Whilst at IV(AC) Sqn Ms Bernard took the opportunity to chat informally to Sqn personnel as they went about their normal duties.

The Sqn held a dining in night at the Finches Arms Pub in Hambleton. It was a chance for the Sqn to say goodbye to Sqn Ldr Pinner who has left to take over the Harrier Flight Simulator at RAF Wittering and Flt Lt Voigt who has retired from the RAF. Flt Lt Grun, an honorary member of the Sqn, was also dined out. He leaves RAF Cottesmore to become a Flt Cdr at RAFC Cranwell. Before the Easter break a double shift beer call was held in the ?Hover Inn?. It was a chance for the whole Sqn get together and share a few drinks with those leaving from both aircrew and ground crew branches.

The Sqn organised a skiing expedition to La Plagne in the French Alps. Ten members of the Sqn went, accompanied by 2 RAF Skiing instructors. The party included 4 beginners who, by the end of the expedition, had achieved an intermediate standard. A squad of seven was entered to represent the Sqn at volleyball as part of the CO?s cup competition. The team finished 4th putting the Sqn 4th in the overall standings.

On the Thursday afternoon before the Easter break the Sqn held a sports afternoon. A variety of sporting activities took place including; golf, football, clay pigeon shooting, skittles and a 23 mile cycle ride around Rutland water. The events were a great success and the afternoon made all the better thanks to the glorious sunshine.

Flt Lt Wilson attended the sea survival course at RAF St Mawgan.