Formal Full Command Inspection

The Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group (AOC 1 Gp) visited RAF Benson recently to carry out his formal Full Command Inspection, taking the time to present personnel with medals and commendations during his visit.

Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha DSO MA BSc RAF, the AOC 1 Gp, undertakes an inspection of the Station annually to ensure that the Station is operating effectively and efficiently with the resources it requires. The Full Command Inspection also gives Station personnel a chance to update AVM Atha on current issues. The formal event sees personnel from across the Station meet with the AVM throughout the day, with the culmination of the visit being a formal honours and awards ceremony held in the Officers’ Mess.

After a high level overview from the Stn Cdr and his team of Execs, the AVM toured the Station to receive updates directly from various sections. An update from the Merlin Force saw the AOC meet with RN and RAF personnel to discuss the ongoing preparations for the transfer of the Merlin helicopters to the Royal Navy; whilst the Puma Force provided details of the continuing Puma upgrade programme that is due to see the Puma 2 helicopter introduced to service later this year.

After a tour of Station facilities and infrastructure upgrades, the AOC met with the extensive network of individuals and teams that provide welfare and community support for personnel and their families at RAF Benson. Updates were given on vastly different areas of support including fitness, pre-deployment preparation, housing and pastoral care.

The highlight of the day for many personnel was the final event – a formal presentation of medals and commendations to personnel, accompanied by their families, in the Officers’ Mess. Twenty-seven Service and civilian personnel were presented with medals and commendations including OSMs for deployments in support of operations in Libya and MSM for enduring dedication, professionalism and commendable Service to the RAF over many years.

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