Royal Double for RAF Halton

RAF Halton personnel were on Royal duty again recently when Her Majesty the Queen visited Berkhamsted in honour of her 90th birthday celebrations.

As part of RAF Halton’s engagement activity the Station was invited to provide personnel to help Hertfordshire Police with the visit, providing assistance with crowd management and other ceremonial duties along Her Majesty’s route.

Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable Andy Bliss, said: “We are grateful to RAF Halton for assisting over 250 police officers, carrying out a number of different functions today, and in the lead up to the visit. This is a celebration and the turn-out of local people is amazing, the children are lining the streets and thoroughly enjoying themselves.”

Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training, (SATTs) personnel, AC’s Sian Taylor, Rowen Pearce, Chelsea Owen and Shanice Sankey Wood said they were proud to have assisted on such a brilliant day. Sian, who comes from Rochdale, said: “I was only told yesterday that I was going to stand by the car as the Queen arrived and salute her, then again by the church door as she left. You don’t expect to be saluting the Queen so soon in your military career but it’s been a massive honour.”

Cpl ‘Barney’ Barnett from Drill and Ceremonial at Recruit Training Squadron, said:

“I had the honour and privilege of leading 10 Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training, (SATT) to parade for HM The Queen, representing RAF Halton during a visit to Berkhamsted. I was informed of the visit three weeks prior to the date, but due to the nature of it, I had to minimise informing all personnel involved so the SATTs had no knowledge who they were parading for until two days prior to the actual job.

On request from the Palace, there had to be an even split of females and males, so five of each were duly selected and researched the route using Google maps and Google street view. Due to time constraints, rehearsals were minimal, and I only walked the ground with the troops on the morning of the visit, explaining where they would be stood and informing them of their duties.

The visit took place without a glitch and all the SATT’s agreed that this was the best day of their lives, I took great satisfaction in making this possible for them. The memory of Parading for our Sovereign so early in their career will stay with them forever. I felt immensely proud to be part of that.”

Her Majesty carried out a number of local engagements after the church service.

Last week the Station was honoured by a visit by the Duchess of Cornwall and look forward to Lord Trenchard becoming Patron of the Station Museum in the coming days.