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Royal Visit for 902 EAW
14 March 2011
Royal Visit for 902 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW)
HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex visited 902 EAW at their Deployed Operating Base (DOB) on 9-10 March 11. He arrived at lunchtime and ate his lunch in the combined messing facility with members of the RAF and attached Army and Navy personnel all based at the DOB. This afforded him an opportunity to chat with personnel about the conditions in which they work and the more day to day ongoings of the DOB.
Following lunch, he was shown around the DOB, visiting sections and talking to personnel on the base. Prince Edward was shown around the aircraft that 902 EAW operate daily. He met personnel who are involved in everything from servicing the aircraft to air operations and admin. Prince Edward spent approximately 3 hours around the technical site of the DOB and on the ASP. He was briefed on the ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) work of both the Sentinel of 5 Sqn, and Nimrod R1 of 51 Sqn, both based at RAF Waddington, and was given a briefing on the effects that the work done by these aircraft are achieving. He was shown evidence of arms caches that have been found as a direct result of ISTAR information gathered and of information given to troops on the ground regarding possible IED locations.
HRH Prince Edward spent the next day on an Operational Sortie with the Sentinel R1 in the skies over Afghanistan. He arrived early in the morning and went through the mission and flight briefs, led by the Captain Flt Lt Ian Lakin, before spending the day flying the sortie with the pilots, mission commanders and intelligence analysts on board. He left with greatly increased knowledge of all that the Sentinel and the RAF’s ISTAR assets can achieve and their tremendously positive impact on the Operations on the ground in Op HERRICK.
Prince Edward meets ground crew and admin staff.
Prince Edward during the Sentinel Operational sortie over Afghanistan.
Prince Edward with the Mission Crew Top-bottom: SSgt Dave Carson, Sgt Andy Paul, Flt Lt Mark Garvey, Flt Lt Rob McCartney, Airborne Mission Commander and Flt Lt Ian Lakin, and the ground crew that ensured the aircraft departed safely.
Photography: RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2011.