RAF

Duchess Of Cornwall Makes Centenary Visit To RAF Halton

The Duchess opened a youth centre at the station, celebrating 100 years in operation.

The Duchess of Cornwall was taken on a trip back in time while visiting RAF Halton on its centenary year.

Celebrations began with an invitation to see renovated trenches, used to train soldiers during the First World War.

Discovered a decade ago in 2009, the historically rich trenches were reconstructed using field engineering manuals from the Great War.

A visit to recruits followed, the RAF intake currently undergoing Initial Force Protection Training.

Here, new Air Force personnel learn the basic skills for hostile environment survival - such as equipping a respirator mask in under nine seconds.

The Duchess witnessed an interactive weapons handling class, speaking to several recruits about their experiences at RAF Halton.

Aircraftman David Jordan said: "It was quite amazing, I was very surprised to see her come over and just be very open and just speak with us all about all our trades."

Concluding the visit, a plaque was unveiled to mark the official opening of the new youth activities centre. 

The Honorary Air Commodore RAF Halton greeted the local community families and military families who will be using the new facility, even playing table tennis with one lucky child.

Group Captain Katherine Wilson OBE, Station Commander at RAF Halton, was thrilled to host the Duchess on a monumental day for the Air Force:

"Everyone was just beaming, and just so delighted, it really has been a privilege."