34 Squadron RAF Regiment returns to Cyprus
RAF Leeming based personnel have deployed to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to guard and protect the Royal Air Force’s main operating base in the Eastern Mediterranean region for the operations against Daesh.
The Leeming detachment consists of 57 Gunners from 34 Squadron RAF Regiment. The deployment marks a return to the island where 34 Sqn was previously based for many years before returning to the UK in 1996.
The deployment to Cyprus will see the Gunners conducting what for them is core business, the protection of RAF airfields, and will give the squadron personnel the opportunity to put the skills they use at RAF Leeming every day into practice in the challenging hot dry environment of the Mediterranean island.
Squadron Leader Matt Jupp, Officer Commanding 34 Squadron RAF Regiment said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for members of 34 Squadron RAF Regiment to provide Force Protection at RAF Akrotiri.
“The Squadron has a long-standing history in Cyprus stretching back over 60 years, however for many of the Gunners this is their first deployment and we are taking great pride in our role, providing specialist force protection of air assets.”
During the deployment, the Gunners will provide armed over watch of the main entry points to the airfield, conduct patrols, including along the cliff tops looking out over the Mediterranean, and man vehicle check points.
Working with the Gunners is Gala, a Patrol and Explosion Detection Dog and his handler Dean. They are from the High Readiness Dog Unit which can deploy at short notice anywhere in the world as required.
Image: 34 Sqn RAF Regiment routine patrol in front of Hercules C-130J aircraft RAF Akrotiri.