Helicopter force has a blast at celebration
Soldiers who fly and maintain the Apache attack helicopter have marked their role in Afghanistan operations with a special celebration at Wattisham Flying Station.
The Attack Helicopter Force deployed on Operation Herrick in 2006, flying in support of the first British troops to enter Helmand until responsibility for the province passed to Afghan National Security Forces late last year.
Last Wednesday, (July 22) a families’ day at Wattisham marked the achievements of everyone involved.
Colonel Jason Etherington, Commander of Wattisham Flying Station, said the day was about ‘coming together to celebrate what we achieved in Afghanistan and thank our families for their support across a busy eight years of operations. “
Alongside equipment displays, music from The Band of The Army Air Corps and Wattisham Military Wives Choir and a display by 7 Air Assault Battalion REME’s field gun run team, the highlight was a demonstration by the Attack Helicopter Display Team.
The demonstration showcased the agility and speed of the Apache, with pyrotechnics simulating its gunfire and rockets and radio transmission between the pilot and ground forces.
Lance Corporal Jonathan Fields, an aviation communicator from 3 Rgt Army Air Corps, brought his wife Abigail and children, Isla, three, and Eden, one, along.
Abigail said: “When Jonathan deployed I suddenly became a single parent with two young children to look after, which was hard.
“The children have really enjoyed coming to look at the helicopters today and events like this make families feel valued.”