Raptor Rapture

WO STRATFORD STN MARCH OFF

It’s not every day you get to celebrate the end of a Warrant Officers’ Service career, so it is fitting that when these rare and special occasions arise, they don’t go un-noticed. This sentiment was taken to heart by members of Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing (TIW), RAF Marham, who delivered an unforgettable March-Off for WO Paul Stratford.

Having walked through the gates of RAF Swinderby in 1987 to become a Photographic Interpreter, Mr Stratford was escorted out of the gates of RAF Marham on 14th June 2013, quite literally at the top of his trade. Perched atop a RAPTOR pod (the RAF’s finest fast-jet tactical reconnaissance asset) he was towed off Station flanked by a TIW Guard of Honour, and followed by the Stn Cdr, OC TIW and a host of friends and colleagues. The donning of a bowler hat to replace his beret signalled his transition to civilian life after 26 years of service, having achieved a fantastic amount both within and for his trade.

Huge thanks go to TIW’s Guard of Honour, the Mobility Team, and all who helped to organise such a unique and memorable March-Off.

The RAPTOR pod is flown by the Tornado GR-4, collecting imagery for exploitation by TIW intelligence analysts. It is routinely employed in support of reconnaissance operations in Afghanistan.

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