Diamond Celebrations JHC was in the Spotlight During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
JHC aircraft were flown at the head of the flypast over Windsor; a number of parades celebrated the Jubilee, and Her Majesty The Queen was welcomed on her tour of Northern Ireland by Stn Cdr of Flying Station Aldergrove.
On 19th May 2012 the military paid tribute to HM The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. Over 2,500 military personnel from the Royal Navy, the Army and the RAF had the honour of parading through Windsor Castle.
As the men and women of the Armed Forces marched through the town, with a tri-service Guard of Honour and six military bands, 78 aircraft from the RAF, Navy and Army were forming over southern England in preparation for the flypast. The honour of leading the flypast was given to an RAF Benson Merlin crewed by Sqn Ldr Sean Leach, Flt Lt Stu Martin, FS Dan Moore and Sgt Tom Pringle.
Wg Cdr Jase Appleton, OC 28 (AC) Sqn, was responsible for coordinating the 12-helicopter formation, which included RAF Puma and Chinook, Army Air Corps Apache, Lynx, Bell 212 and Gazelle and Junglie Sea Kings from CHF. He did this by keeping a keen eye on proceedings from the back of the Merlin. Speaking about the experience he said: “It is an absolute honour, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the first of 78 aircraft saluting the Queen.”
Elsewhere, units from JHC were on parade to receive their Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals. Airborne medics were presented theirs and demonstrated the unique capabilities they provide to the Army. 60 soldiers from 16 Med Regt were presented with the medal, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. Personnel in the unit include consultant orthopaedic surgeons, biomedical scientists and combat medical technicians.
Lt Col Steven Tracey, CO 16 Med Regt, said: “The medal recognises the service given by soldiers to their Queen and country. It is important that we should recognise that publically and, as a Regiment, play our part in the celebration of the Jubilee. This Regiment offers a unique capability within the British military, of being able to deploy a surgical team by parachute.’
Among soldiers receiving their medals was L/Cpl Kyle Brown, who was also presented with his campaign medals for a recent deployment to Afghanistan. L/Cpl Brown, who worked in the operating theatre at the Camp Bastion hospital said: “It was a very busy tour but a very good and challenging experience. The first patient I treated was a triple amputee and that was a real sink or swim situation, but my training kicked in and saw me through. It’s fantastic to receive these medals, as recognition of my service at a special time for the Queen and country.”
Also receiving medals were soldiers from 654 Squadron, 4 Regt AAC who fly and maintain Apache. They paraded to both welcome its soldiers home from Afghanistan, and mark the Jubilee.
Maj Mark Ackrill, OC 654 Sqn, said: “It’s been a very busy and rewarding tour but it’s great to be back to our families, who have been really well looked after by the welfare team. It’s an honour for the squadron to receive the Diamond Jubilee Medal as we celebrate our safe return from operational service. He said: “The amount of engagements Apaches are involved in has remained fairly constant, but I can observe progress. The troops on the ground have stabilised the situation in Helmand, meaning they can set the tempo and we’re providing considered and focussed support to operations to help improve security for local people.”