RAF Regiment marks 80th anniversary with Buckingham Palace appearance

A special Changing of the Guard ceremony has marked the 80th anniversary of the RAF Regiment.

The RAF Regiment-only mount at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday was watched by the Duke of Kent and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston. 

The specialist corps was set up 80 years ago, designed to protect and defend air bases, aircraft and the people who operate and support them – so that air operations can continue unhindered by enemy ground or air attack. 

RAF Regiment Group Captain Jason Sutton, Deputy to the Commandant General RAF Regiment, paid tribute to the "extraordinary roll of honour" of which "we can all be deeply proud of".

He said: "We pay tribute to all those who've served over those many years. Your courage and fighting spirit are inspirational."

The RAF Regiment was represented on parade by The Queen's Colour Squadron of the RAF and 10 other Regular and Reserve members of the RAF Regiment who carried their Squadron's Standard.  

More than 100 RAF musicians, both regular and reserve, rehearsed at RAF Northolt last week in preparation for the momentous parade at Buckingham Palace.

The RAF Regiment fought in all the major campaigns of the Second World War with officers and gunners being trained to operate as infantry, armoured car crew and air defence artillery crew.

All members of the regiment were initially trained as combat infantry, an arrangement that continues to the present day.