The Royal Air Force Regiment commemorated its 75th Anniversary on the 1 Feb 17 in a special service held in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
The event was attended by over 600 Royal Air Force personnel and local dignitaries, including Lady Clare, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and the Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force Regiment Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC LLD BSc FRAes CCMI RAF.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton said: “The Royal Air Force is extremely proud of what the RAF Regiment has done over the past 75 years.
“They have succeeded in the job they have been given and continue to set standards and more importantly teamwork that make them capable of delivering their role.”
St Edmundsbury Cathedral is the proud custodian of the RAF Regiment memorial and standards as a mark of the Regiment’s close association with the county of Suffolk.
The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward blessed a commemorative candle which will remain in the cathedral for the rest of this anniversary year.
It will be lit at Choral Evensong each day as an enduring symbol of the RAF Regiment 75th Anniversary.
The RAF Regiment 75th Candle holder, Leading Aircraftman Gell said: “I’ve just finished my training and been posted to No II Sqn RAF Regiment, a real honour.
“But today, to be the bearer of the RAF Regiment 75th candle has been amazing.
“To meet and speak to experienced members of the Corps at such a ceremony has been a real privilege; this is where my future is.”
The RAF Regiment is the ground fighting force of the RAF and is fully integrated within it.
The RAF Regiment protects air bases from attack and are trained and equipped to fulfil a wide range of infantry type roles.
It is a unit that is widely recognised as being the world leader in air-minded force protection and many other nations seek the RAF Regiment’s guidance in establishing their own capability in this area.
The Royal Air Force Regiment will continue to commemorate the achievements, sacrifice and on-going efforts of the members of the RAF Regiment past and present in fighting on the ground to protect and enable Air Power.
Olive Hathaway, 84, wife of Henry Hathaway who served for 34 years in the RAF Regiment said: “My husband started in the RAF Regiment as a ground gunner in Burma and spent the next 34 years serving with the Corps.
“Today’s Cathedral service was a wonderful experience and on his behalf I have once again felt the unique fellowship which is the RAF Regiment.”