RAF squadron celebrates 100th anniversary

Avatar for Cliff IbellBy Cliff Ibell | April 12, 2016

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 34 seconds.

The paint scheme, which incorporates a Pegasus motif and crossed kukri knives, had to be approved by several authorities - including the Chinook's manufacturer, Boeing.
The paint scheme, which incorporates a Pegasus motif and crossed kukri knives, had to be approved by several authorities – including the Chinook’s manufacturer, Boeing.

On April 7, Number 28 Squadron of the Royal Air Force belatedly celebrated its 100th birthday and the opening of its new facilities at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, U.K. The squadron held a parade of 90 of its members in the new hangar, who were reviewed by Prince Michael of Kent.

“I am honoured to command a squadron with such an illustrious history and an exceptionally bright future,” said Wing Commander Marty Lock, No. 28 Squadron’s commanding officer. “We are always mindful of our squadron’s heritage and our actions today honour all those who have served 28 Squadron previously. Today I have the privilege to command a squadron of dedicated and passionate personnel, from engineers, operations, admin and safety equipment staff to the students and the instructors who provide the training, all of whom allow 28 Squadron to provide the best training to all future RAF support helicopter aircrew.”

An SA330E HC2 Puma also featured the special design. The Pegasus was adopted in honor of the squadron's first operational base at Yatesbury, and the knives honor the squadron's continuing bond with the 48th Gurkha Infantry Brigade.
An SA330E HC2 Puma also featured the special design. The Pegasus was adopted in honor of the squadron’s first operational base at Yatesbury, and the knives honor the squadron’s continuing bond with the 48th Gurkha Infantry Brigade.

As part of the celebrations, permission was granted for a special paint scheme to be applied to a Boeing Chinook HC4, which was unveiled at the parade. As well as the special Chinook paint scheme, a special decal scheme for a Westland SA330E HC2 Puma was also unveiled.

The paint scheme was designed by Flt Lt Andy Donovan and created by the RAF Odiham paint shop with the assistance of Serco. Donovan explained that the Pegasus motif was adopted by 28 Squadron in honor of the squadron’s first operational base at Yatesbury and that the crossed Kukri knives honour the continuing bond between 28 Squadron and 48th Gurkha Infantry Brigade, which was forged during far east operations in the 1950s.  He also explained that every part of the color scheme had to be approved from the choice of colors right down to the placement of stencil markings by many authorities including Boeing, camouflage committees within the U.K. Ministry of Defence as well as Joint Helicopter Command.

Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the parade of 90 members of 28 Squadron.
Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the parade of 90 members of 28 Squadron.

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