Recruit Training-Squadron update

The Recruit Training Squadron is a busy place to be. This article aims to inform you about some of the recent changes that have taken place.

New Opening
A newly built training facility for recruits at RAF Halton has been officially opened, tried and tested by the Assistant Chief Of Staff (ACOS) for Training (Trg). Air Commodore (Cdre) La Forte opened four new Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Lanes. The lanes are specially designed for recruits during their Initial Force Protection Training (IFPT) phase and are an improvement from the previous facility, which could only train a limited number of recruits at any one time.

The recruits have to tactically manoeuvre around obstacles, blank firing their weapons at a target. The lanes also test the recruits physically as they fire their weapons from a variety of different positions such as standing, kneeling and prone.

Air Cdre La Forte said: “I am delighted to be able to open the new CQB lanes at RAF Halton. Proficiency in small arms is axiomatic to any military organisation as the most fundamental of skills. As the nature of modern operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, all members of the RAF have to be fully prepared as warfighters first and foremost, irrespective of their specific branch or trade – and this new facility will play an important role in instilling this warfighter spirit in our new recruits at the very outset of their career.”

Help in the Community
Recruits from RAF Halton recently volunteered in two community projects around the Aylesbury area. The recruits are required to organize and participate in a community support day assisting projects that benefit either the local community or wildlife.

Beckett Intake volunteered their time at Pebble Brook School in Aylesbury to the delight of the 80 children, all of whom have moderate learning difficulties. The recruits wielded their paintbrushes to brighten up several sections of the school including the gym, dining room and corridors. After a long, hard day Pebble Brook School thanked Beckett Intake for their efforts and even posed for a special ‘thank you’ photo afterwards.

Campion Intake helped out at St Tigglewinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham. The centre which cares for nearly 10,000 sick and injured animals each year, is often helped out by RAF Halton. This time the recruits painted aviaries and helped to clear up the duck pond before laying a new lawn around it. As a thank you for all the hard work, the centre staff kindly treated the recruits to an extensive behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and animals.

Sergeant Gary Morris, an instructor on Campion Intake said: “The community support day reminds all of our recruits that the Royal Air Force in general, and RAF Halton in particular, is part of the wider Buckinghamshire community.”

SATT follow Suit
12 Servicemen and women from RAF Halton have pulled out their paintbrushes and volunteered to improve a new Learning Centre for local disabled people. The Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training (SATT), aged between 17 and 27, were keen to be involved in a local community project. They were asked to assist with painting and decorating new classrooms and reception areas for a joint initiative between Aylesbury College and Buckinghamshire County Council. The new Learners with Learning Disabilities and/or other Disabilities (LLDD) Unit, which will shortly open for 16 – 25 year olds, will enable individuals to live and learn together in the centre of Aylesbury.

The recently graduated airmen and airwomen are all waiting to start their trade training course in their relevant trades, which range from controlling aircraft from the ground to maintaining aircraft engines. They follow an intensive six week programme where they receive further development before starting their next phase of their training. A County Council spokesperson commented: “The help the RAF has given us to prepare this unit in time for the new learners has been invaluable. We are really grateful for the support and enthusiasm of these young individuals.”