Personnel from Royal Air Force Leeming showed why they’re the Pride of Britain when they helped the Daily Mirror launch its annual campaign to find unsung heroes.
Now in its 14th year, the Pride of Britain Awards seek to honour ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Last week, the Awards tour bus officially launched the nominations phase of the event, and stopped off to meet personnel at Royal Air Force Leeming, whose operational roles often go unnoticed.
Although the longest serving unit on the current Afghanistan operation, personnel from 90 Signals Unit’s Tactical Communications Wing often find that their job of providing all communications to support air operations – from IT to communications with jets – is something which happens quietly in the background, rather than hitting media front pages. It is nevertheless vital if any missions are to take place at all.
Group Captain John Wariner, Commanding Officer of 90 Signals Unit, said: “It was a pleasure to host the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain promotion tour. The work of 90 Signals Unit and Royal Air Force Regiment personnel is not often in the public eye, yet is critical to supporting front line operations. While none would want to be described as heros, their regular deployments to operational theatres make their commanders and families exceptionally proud indeed.”
Likewise there is often little awareness of the force protection role of personnel from 34 Squadron RAF Regiment, currently preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in October. RAF Regiment squadrons are responsible for ensuring the protection of any deployed RAF assets from their ground position. This could include anything from training other branches of the RAF to mounting aggressive patrols around an air base.
Sections from RAF Leeming have also provided more than 150 personnel to the Olympics effort in a wide variety of roles covering everything from security and air traffic to catering and communications. Wing Commander Jim Pruden, acting Station Commander at RAF Leeming, said: “It was great that the Daily Mirror chose RAF Leeming as its military stop-off during its Pride of Britain Tour. We are extremely supportive of what they are doing and it is another way in which we can recognise the amazing yet often unsung contributions made by our Service personnel and their families.”