The Duke of Edinburgh met the men who keep Apaches flying and their families when he visited the Army Air Corps’ Wattisham airfield yesterday.
As as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers he met the Seventh Air Assault Brigade Battalion REME and heard about their work maintaining the Army’s helicopters and drones as well as trucks and armoured vehicles of 16 Air Assault Brigade.
The Duke also met soldiers’ families at an activity day put on by the unit’s welfare team.
He was shown the vehicles the troops work on, ranging from the Apache attack helicopter to the Watchkeeper unmanned air system and Foxhound protected patrol vehicle, representing the next generation of Army equipment.
Another cutting edge vehicle on show was the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project, which aims to reach 1,000 mph. Models of the car were presented to children from Ringshall School who had taken part in a science project organised by 7 Air Asslt Bn REME to build balloon-powered cars inspired by the rocket-propelled Bloodhound.
The British Army is supporting Bloodhound, bringing the technical training and operational experience of REME soldiers.
Corporal Jordan Bridges, 26 said: “Prince Philip was very interested and said it was great to know that Bloodhound and REME soldiers were helping to make school science lessons more exciting.
“This was the first time I’ve worked with children and I really enjoyed the experience. I was surprised by the level of understanding they had of the problems they encountered, for example friction in the wheels and how to reduce it.”
Lieutenant Colonel David Batty, commanding officer of 7 Air Asslt Bn REME, said: “The visit has been a great honour for the battalion. It has allowed the Duke to meet our soldiers and learn about every aspect of the unit’s life, from supporting frontline operations in Afghanistan to working with local schools to promote science and technology.”