II (AC) Squadron
Families and friends of personnel from II (AC) Squadron gathered in the Officers’ Mess last month to watch their loved ones receive medals in a ceremony at the base.
The squadron returned from Afghanistan at the end of May after a four month long detachment in support of Operation HERRICK. This deployment was the last one by II(AC) Squadron as part of the Tornado Force as they will disband next year and reform as a Typhoon squadron on 1st April 2015 at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
Approximately 50 personnel received the Operation HERRICK medal which was awarded to them by The Mayor of Swaffham, Councillor Shirley Matthews. The squadron was awarded ‘Honorary Citizenship of Swaffham’ a few years ago so it was fitting that the Mayor of Swaffham presented the servicemen and women with their well deserved medals.
Also presented on this occasion were two Operation Unified Protector (Libya) Medals, three Long Service and Good Conduct Medals and two RAF Flight Safety Commendations. After the ceremony, the families and personnel gathered in the gardens of the Officers’ Mess where they enjoyed a hog roast and refreshments whilst the children played on a bouncy castle, all of which were funded by a very generous donation from the Norfolk Armed Forces Community Covenant.
Wing Commander Jez Holmes, Officer Commanding II (AC) Squadron said “I am very proud of the personnel of II (AC) Squadron and proud to be part of their final deployment in Afghanistan as a Tornado squadron and today’s medal ceremony has been a fitting tribute to the continued hard work and dedication of each and every member of the squadron. Today has also been an opportunity to thank our families and friends and indeed the local community for their love and support whilst we have been away. After a much needed break with our loved ones we will return to work in what will continue to be a busy year. We will be participating in overseas exercises whilst maintaining a state of high readiness to be tasked if required to support operations anywhere around the world. Alongside this we will be working towards the disbandment of the squadron in 2015 when it transfers to Typhoon. While it will be sad to see the end of II (AC) Squadron as part of the Tornado Force it is fantastic that the rich history of II (AC) Squadron will continue with the Typhoon Force.”