A Royal Parade, attended by HRH the Earl of Wessex, was held yesterday (Tuesday) at RAF Waddington to mark the retirement of the E-3D Sentry from RAF service.
HRH the Earl of Wessex, an Honorary Air Commodore, reviewed the parade and was accompanied by Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group, Air Vice Marshal Allan Marshall and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Commander, Major General Thomas Kunkel from the United States Air Force.
The Officer Commanding 8 Squadron, Wing Commander Victoria Williams was the parade commander for the event which saw flypasts conducted by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and an 8 Squadron E-3D Sentry.
Commenting on the parade Officer Commanding 8 Squadron, Wg Cdr Williams said:
The event also marked 30 years of RAF service for an aircraft which has seen extensive use during operations and with NATO. These operations range from counter narcotic drug operations in the Caribbean through to Operation Iraqi Freedom which saw the RAF Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) force clock up more flying hours in Iraqi airspace than all other RAF aircraft combined. More recently the aircraft was employed on Operation Shader in the fight against Daesh and on Operation Fortis which saw them directly supporting the UK Carrier Strike Group.
The retirement of the Sentry will see 8 Squadron relocated to RAF Lossiemouth where they will operate the E-7 Wedgetail which offers a significant stride forward in capability. For RAF Waddington this is another important step as the next generation Royal Air Force takes shape at the Station.
Group Captain Stephen Kilvington, the Station Commander at RAF Waddington said:
Photo credits: Sgt Nik Howe RAF
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