IX(B) Sqn Personnel Receive Operation Unified Protector Medal
On Saturday 22nd September, personnel from IX(B) Squadron, based at RAF Marham, were presented with the NATO non-Article 5 Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR medal, as recognition for their contribution on Op ELLAMY. No IX(B) Squadron were the first RAF fast-jet Squadron to participate in Op ELLAMY, launching Storm Shadow missions from its base in Norfolk on 3,000 mile round trips; the first UK launched strike sorties since the Second World War. It was therefore fitting that the Squadron were the first to receive the medal.
The timing of the medal presentation coincided with the annual IX(B) Sqn Association Reunion weekend. The IX(B) Squadron Association, the largest of its kind within the wider RAF family, is hosted by the Squadron annually and the reunion offered the ideal opportunity for the Association President, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC BA MPhil DTech DLitt FRAeS RAF, to present the medals. The medal parade was led by Wing Commander Andy Turk, Officer Commanding IX(B) Squadron, who said: “It was a great honour for the personnel of IX(B) Squadron to receive the Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR medal today and to receive it in front of our family, friends and Association veterans has made the day particularly poignant. I am immensely proud of the contribution the Squadron made to saving the lives of countless Libyan citizens and to share that experience with our veterans has been a treasured experience.”
Flight Sergeant Si Roberts, a member of IX (B) Sqn receiving the medal on Saturday, added: “It was a real honour to be presented with our medal in front of both our families and many members of the IX(B)Sqn Association. Considering the short time we had to prepare and the pressure of our current Op HERRICK preparation, everybody involved in the parade and presentation responded fantastically. To be the first unit to receive the medal is a fantastic privilege and is a tribute not only to the hard work and effort put in by everybody on IX(B)Sqn, but also to the tremendous support we received from family, friends and the multitude of personnel behind the scenes at RAF Marham.”
IX(B) Squadron are in the final stages of preparation ahead of their forthcoming deployment on Op HERRRICK during the period November to March 2013.