RAF

Princess Royal Attends 30 Squadron's Reformation Parade

Princess Royal attended the ceremony at Brize Norton and inspected the squadron's 60-strong personnel on the parade square.

Princess Anne has attended a ceremony to mark the reformation of 30 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The RAF squadron took on an administrative role in 2016 with only one crew member – its Officer Commanding – but it has now reformed and can count more than 60 personnel under its wing.

The Princess Royal, who spent the weekend aboard HMS Albion as the ship took part in Exercise Joint Warrior, watched the reformation and inspected personnel on the parade square.

And it is not just the number of personnel that has changed for 30 Squadron, with the A400m Atlas aircraft its latest piece of kit –  taking over from the C130 Hercules.

Wing Commander Stuart Patton, Officer Commanding, 30 Squadron, told Forces News the squadron will "increasingly be taking on all the roles that we see of the C130, alongside number 70 Squadron".

Watch: Afghan civilians board RAF aircraft in Kabul for evacuation.

"We've seen aircraft establish itself on operations, both initially in the Caribbean and then, more recently, so successfully in the evacuation of Afghanistan under Operation Pitting," he said.

"Our attention turns towards those more tactical capabilities now.

"We're just about to receive a delivery of a number of those… particularly air delivery and landing on beaches and things like that, so we're very excited about what's to come."

For the personnel of 30 Squadron, it's the start of an exciting new career in a newly formed squadron.

Flight Lieutenant Paul Kiczma, Pilot, 30 Squadron, told Forces News it was "good to be getting involved in something… up and coming".

"I was involved in Operation Pitting over the summer, which is the evacuation of Afghanistan, which was probably the highlight of my service career so far," he said.

"It feels good to be involved in an organisation that's going to be doing more and more things like that as and when we need to."