4624 Squadron Combined Graduation and Medal Ceremony
On 16 February 2020, the Basic Movements Training (BMT) course held their Graduation ceremony in the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess at RAF Brize Norton. This was the culmination of ten months intensive Movements trade training and marked the end of their phase two course and the beginning of life on the Squadron’s Operational Flights.
The BMT course is designed to give students the skills, knowledge and attitude to safely and competently handle RAF transport aircraft here in the UK and around the world. Having received the same training as their Regular counterparts enables them to be employed on the Air Movements Squadron ensuring that troops, equipment and cargo are available in the right place at the right time to meet operational demands.
The graduation took place in front of the students’ friends and family members to recognise their achievements, as well as presenting them with their well-earned rank slides and promotion to Leading Aircraftman (LAC). The Reviewing Officer Group Captain Gavin Hellard thanked friends and family for their continued support which is crucial to enable the volunteer Reservist to serve whilst highlighting the contribution that Reservists make to the operational output of the RAF both in the UK and overseas.
Mid-way through the course, they arranged a charity fundraising event to generate funds for three charities that were close to their hearts. They chose an Octoberfest theme which including a raffle, bullseye, bar games and Bavarian style BBQ resulting a hugely successful night attended by a large number of personnel form the Squadron. In total, they raised £820.66 which was evenly split between Sky Ocean Rescue, Oxford Homelessness and SSAFA. The presentation of their cheque was made to Officer Commanding 4624 Squadron, Wing Commander Richard Evans by LAC Richard Marsh, the senior student on BMT 33.
As part of the graduation ceremony, Group Captain Hellard presented Squadron medals and awards. The first was to Senior Aircraftwoman (SAC) Helen Hibbard, who had awarded her “Sporting Colours” for representing the RAF, Combined Services and even the country where, in 2019, she became Karate World Champion. The Volunteer Reserves Service Medal for ten years’ service was awarded to Sergeant (Sgt) Neil Taylor and Corporal (Cpl) Craig Elsey.
After the ceremony all recipients’ friends and families gathered in the Squadron bar (The SWAMP) for a buffet and the unveiling of the cake, which has become a tradition on the Squadron.
Top image: The cheque presented to Wing Commander Evans, Officer Commanding 4624 Squadron.
All images are MOD Crown Copyright