RAF chief says thanks to the community

Group Captain Mark Coleman at the RAF Boulmer reception.
Group Captain Mark Coleman at the RAF Boulmer reception.

RAF Boulmer is in good health and spirit, the station commander told guests at an annual reception.

Group Captain Mark Coleman said that despite the loss of search and rescue operations, the station has seen an increase in its overall population.

He was speaking at an annual spring reception for civic dignitaries and representatives of the many organisations throughout the county with which RAF Boulmer has close ties.

The evening included a sunset ceremony and parade by a flight of RAF personnel, led by the Band of 5 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The ceremony included the lowering of the RAF Ensign, the National Anthem and a flypast by an E3D Sentry aircraft from RAF Waddington.

During his speech, Group Captain Coleman said: “Search and rescue operations had been a significant part of RAF Boulmer’s role and will remain an important chapter in the station’s history. However, in terms of personnel, A Flight 202 Squadron accounted for just over five per cent of the overall station population. The increase the station has seen in defence training over the last year has resulted in a noticeable increase in the overall station population.”

He said the School of Aerospace Battle Management has trained more than 600 students from all over the world; the staff of Control and Reporting Centre has worked 24/7 to ensure the integrity of the UK’s airspace and has undergone a considerable information technology upgrade during the last 12 months; the station has continued to provide tactical and operational control of aircraft in multinational exercises; it has hosted more than 900 members of uniformed youth organisations in the last year; and provided 360 Air Cadets with week-long training camps.

Group Captain Coleman, who is moving to his next posting this summer, said his time at RAF Boulmer has been the highlight of his career.