Hundreds turned out at Royal Air Force Wittering yesterday 2nd July 14 to watch a parade marking the re-formation of the Royal Air Force’s famous Number 38 Group.
Number 38 Group was first formed during World War II. In addition to deploying members of the elite Special Operations Executive and Special Air Service, its aircraft flew in scores of famous missions including Operation Overlord.
38 Group Reforming ParadeAfter World War II Number 38 Group was disbanded, but was reformed twice during the Cold War and a third time in 1992. Its list of aircraft is a ‘Who’s Who’ of aviation icons and includes the Harrier, Jaguar, VC10 and Westland Wessex.
Now Number 38 Group has been reformed and has a fresh role; the new Group brings together the Royal Air Force’s Engineering, Logistics, Communications and Medical Operations units.
These units provide essential support to the Royal Air Force, enabling it to deliver operational effect. Although many of Number 38 Group’s deployable squadrons are stationed at Royal Air Force Wittering, the Group also has operational units and personnel at Royal Air Force Brize Norton, Royal Air Force High Wycombe and Royal Air Force Leeming.
The reforming of a Royal Air Force Group – particularly one as well known as Number 38 Group – is cause for celebration and yesterday’s parade included music from the Band of the Royal Air Force College. Air Vice-Marshal Tim Bishop, Air Officer Commanding 38 Group, was the reviewing officer.
The parade was the culmination of weeks of planning. Deputy Project Officer for the day’s events was Squadron Leader Richard Cameron, acting Commanding Officer for 85 (Expeditionary Logistics) Wing.
38 Group Reforming Parade
He said; “It’s taken a lot of pulling together, but the units have been positive and helpful and have given their utmost to make the parade as memorable as they can. Lots of hard work has been done and it’s paid off in a really memorable way.”
Beautiful sunshine bathed Royal Air Force Wittering’s parade ground as the band struck up with a host of familiar tunes, and the parade formed up and drilled in perfect time under the watchful eye of Station Warrant Officer Barry Tanswell.
38 Group Reforming Parade
Air Vice-Marshal Tim Bishop, Air Officer Commanding 38 Group, said; “We’ve been very lucky to have such fantastic weather for the parade and it is great that so many Station personnel and their families have turned out to watch the reforming of this important Group.”
Air Vice-Marshal Bishop continued; “I’m very pleased that the reforming parade has gone so well. If the Royal Air Force is to deliver air power effects where they are most needed, then our aircraft and crews must be supported by the right force elements on the ground, such as those associated with engineering, logistics, communications and medical care. The reforming of Number 38 Group emphasises the significance placed on our supporting force elements and I look forward to leading the Group, to ensure we continue to provide world class support during the next chapter of our Group’s eminent history.”
Author / Editor: Ed Palmer
Photograph: Cpl Paul Robertshaw – 38 Group Reforming Parade.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014