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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


22 September 2015

502 Squadron has continued to grow and to attest successful applicants in a range of disciplines since the start of the year. The move from its position as a Future Reserves 2020 sponsored start up unit to being a part of No 1 Group Royal Air Force now puts it within the RAF’s combat orbat with the Group’s main task being to project UK air power at home and abroad.  

Professional trade training continues for many of the unit at main bases in GB with the partnership forged with RAF Marham being particularly fruitful. Support to Out Of Area commitments has included deployments to Ascension Island and Kabul, Afghanistan. Support to UK events such as the Royal International Air Tattoo was also undertaken and volunteers from 502 played an important role in the medical emergency reaction team course at RAF Brize Norton, some of whom did a fine job as “the wounded.” The Squadron was very visible at the two major public air events over the summer months, namely the airshows at Newcastle, Co Down, and at Portrush and took advantage of the “air-mindedness” of the crowds for marketing and recruiting. The public feedback was very good and it is clear awareness of both the RAF and the Squadron is growing again in Northern Ireland.

Other engagement initiatives included supporting Whitehead’s annual food and folk day at which intrepid Squadron members built a canoe “lagoon” from plastic sheeting and hay bales which became the key attraction of the day. Adventurous training included Mountain leadership training with the joys of river wading and navigation in Mourne mist thrown in to keep everyone smiling.

It has been a period of anniversaries and in May the Squadron celebrated its position as the oldest Auxiliary Squadron in the air force with a dinner and parade marking its’ 90th birthday. The latter was attended by family and friends giving them the opportunity to see Flying Station Aldergrove at first hand.

The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was also marked with a dinner which included the Polish Consul for Northern Ireland marking the Polish Air Force contribution to the 1940 battle and a well attended parade and service of thanksgiving at Flying Station Aldergrove.