Countess Of Wessex Makes First Visit To 505 Squadron

RAF St Mawgan opened its doors to the Countess of Wessex, as she got to grips with life as a reservist...

The Countess of Wessex has made her first visit to 505 Wessex Squadron at RAF St Mawgan.

The visit to Cornwall’s station gave an induction to one of seven new squadrons created to meet the government’s Future Reserves 2020 target, aiming to offer more specialist support to the Royal Air Force.

Formed in 2015, 505 (Wessex) Squadron is the only of its kind in the south-west.

The Countess was introduced to a range of equipment and vehicles available to the squadron, as part of a broader push from the Ministry of Defence to strengthen the service.

St Mawgan HRH Sophie Wessex 051218 BFBS

Squadron Leader David Mann is awaiting clear instructions for his men, who will provide chefs, intelligence analysts, personnel support and drivers:

“Our strategic role is to provide support to the wider RAF, we are asking for a bit more direction on that and to have some specified rules.

"We will utilise people according to their skills, needs, ability and their availability."

Upon meeting many reservists, Her Royal Highness was given a taste of the daily activities that keep them sharp.

St Mawgan HRH Sophie Wessex 051218 BFBS

The visit began with a cooking masterclass and concluded with an award ceremony for the troops.

Chef, Sergeant Michael Riddle, was delighted to see the Countess willing to get involved with the squadron’s catering:

“We wanted her, if possible, to join in… So she helped us make some flatbreads.

"That was purely down to the fact that that we could do it all from scratch, show a finished product and there was no chance of getting messy."

Almost at full strength with 45 reservists, and vitalised by the Royal visit, 505 Wessex Squadron is also looking forward to getting their hands dirty.

To mark the day with a tradition upon Royal visits, the Countess recognised the newly formed force by unveiling a new plaque.