This month brings a proud anniversary for No. 2622 Royal Auxiliary RAF Regiment Reserve Squadron, as it marks 40 years of service.
In keeping with the RAF Lossiemouth-based squadron’s ethos, the men and women from the North-east and around Scotland who give up their spare time to serve in it will be marking the occasion in their own way – with a 40km cycle and marching challenge through the Moray countryside.
And as the unit, first formed at the height of the Cold War, looks to the next 40 years, it is on the lookout for new recruits, aged 18-54, interested in learning new skills and serving alongside regular forces.
Proud to have been headquartered at the Moray airbase since being its establishment, 2622, which has the “Burghead Bull” as its badge, is the only RAF Reserve Squadron in the north.
Its members, supporting regular personnel, provide the ground combat element to protect RAF aircraft and other assets at Lossiemouth, bases elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Their intent that in role is firmly set out in their motto, “Seasaidh Sinn Ar Tir” – which translates as, “We Stand our Ground.”
Made up of men and women from a wide range of occupations in their working lives, the squadron was formed in 1979, when the perceived threat to the west from the Soviet Union was substantial. Today it continues in its vital role of supporting regular forces at home and around the world.
During the 1990’s members of 2622, who train at weekends and during annual leave from their jobs, deployed with the regular RAF regiment to Bosnia, Cyprus and Kuwait.
In 2003, the squadron mobilised for Operation Telic, at the start of the second Gulf War, with 53 personnel serving in the Middle East. Over a dozen years, a total of 74 members served in Iraq and on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan on stabilisation operations.
In 2006, the squadron became the first in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force to be awarded a Squadron Standard, in recognition of its 25 years of unbroken service.
Current 2622 volunteers will mark their latest anniversary during a regular training weekend towards the end of this month, with the mountain biking and marching challenge taking place along the route of the Speyside way. It will be followed by a number of other events, including a dinner for serving and former members.
Commanding officer, Squadron Leader Chris Beckley OBE, said: “The squadron has been proud to be an important part of RAF Lossiemouth, and the Moray and North-east community for four decades.
“As we mark this important anniversary, we are also looking forward to the next 40 years.”
RAF Reserves can fit serving around their lives – you just need to commit to at least 27 days a year, with training at weekends. It’s open to men and women aged between 18 and 54 and you get a daily rate of pay, travel expenses and a tax free annual bonus.
Find out more at the RAF website.