Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, has attended the reformation parade of Number 30 Squadron (Sqn) held at RAF Brize Norton.
The Princess Royal, who is Honorary Air Commodore to RAF Brize Norton, reviewed members of the Squadron on parade in front of guests, commemorating the reformation of the newest operational unit to operate the Airbus A400M Atlas.
The parade marched to the music of The Band of the Regiment with a background of two static RAF A400M Atlas’ outside the Airbus hangar.
The A400M carried out a spectacular flypast above the parade square to mark the momentous occasion.
No. 30 Sqn’s long and distinguished history began at Farnborough, England in November 1914.
Its first operations were in Egypt, with the majority of the Squadron’s efforts in the First World War taking place in Mesopotamia. It was here during resupply to the siege of Kut in 1916 that the Squadron asserted its claim as the first air drop squadron.
Operations in North Africa and the Middle East continued in the Inter-War years and at the start of the Second World War.
The Squadron (at that point a fighter squadron) subsequently saw action over Greece, Ceylon and Burma prior to its reduction to number only status in 1946.
Reforming as a transport squadron in 1947, the Squadron has been heavily engaged on operations ever since. It was a significant contributor to the Berlin Airlift, supported famine relief in Africa in the late 50s / early 60s and subsequently was involved in the sustainment of operations in the Middle East from Bahrain.
It received the C-130 in 1968 and continued to operate a variant of this aircraft until 2016.
In this near 50-year period, 30 Squadron gave notable support to operations including: The Falklands; Iraq (1990-1, 1990s, 2003); The Balkans, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Libya.
Photos: Paul Crouch
UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021