RAF Reservists Participate in ‘Uniform to Work’ Day
The presence of men and women in uniform is nothing unusual in West Norfolk with the areas around the Stanta Battle Area near Thetford and those surrounding RAF Marham having provided a home to numerous military units for more than two generations.
However; as part of the events surrounding the fourth Armed Forces Day, a week at the end of June also brought the public into contact with our serving military in some rather less obvious locations as the nation’s Reservists left their civilian clothes at home to take part in Uniform To Work Day.
Once again, there was no shortage of volunteers from RAF Marham’s 2620 Squadron with a wide range of employers showing their support for our local Reservists. Warrant Officer Alan Horton from Terrington St Clement has been a Reservist with 2620 Squadron for 13 years. As a Construction Lecturer at the College of West Norfolk’s Isle Campus in Wisbech, he spends the working week preparing students for a career in the building trade. Alan Horton said ‘I’m proud to wear my uniform at the college who have been so supportive of my reservist commitment and it’s a great way to make more people aware of the contribution made to our Armed Forces by Reservists in the local community’.
Sergeant Helen Thomas from Grimston has worked at the County Court in King’s Lynn for 25 years. A Team Leader dealing with all aspects of civil law, the 47 year old mother of two is also a Reservist instructor teaching new recruits general service knowledge and first aid as well as carrying out the vital role of Families Liaison Officer. Helen Thomas said ‘I’ve always found being an RAF Reservist hugely rewarding and I feel particularly proud to wear my uniform during this special Diamond Jubilee year.’
Aircraftman Lee Cooper from Hampton near Peterborough has been a Reservist with the Squadron for just six months. As a Technical Riding Inspector for East Midland Trains, Lee spends his time helping to keep the powerful and high-tech trains running smoothly but it was his background in the Armed Forces that gave him the skills and interest needed to become a successful railway engineer. Lee said’ I spent 12 years with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, the highlight of which was helping to establish power to many of the islands off Belize that were devastated after a hurricane in 1988. I still get a similar buzz from working to maintain the serviceability of a train so that it gets to its destination on time.’ Lee is currently training as a Regiment Gunner with 2620 Squadron and is hoping to graduate following a two week exercise in September that will test his fitness, tactical knowledge and marksmanship skills. On taking part in this year’s Uniform To Work Day, Lee said ’I’m very proud to be able to serve as part of the British Armed Forces again and it’s great to be able to fly the flag for the RAF Reserves, and the employers that support us, wherever the train takes me.’
To find out more about RAF Marham’s Reservists, search online for 2620 Squadron.