Final Lynx Wings parade
Friday 1 August 2014 saw the last Wings parade to be held for students trained by 702 Naval Air Squadron (NAS). The squadron decommissioned at RNAS Yeovilton on 30 July 2014 after 36 years.
At this particularly poignant ceremony, three Pilots and one Observer were awarded their Wings by Vice Admiral Alan Richards CB Chief of Defence Intelligence.
The ceremony saw three Pilots, Lt Oliver Bundock RN, Lt Dal Nwokora RN and Lt Matthew Johnson RN awarded their ‘Wings’ after 5 long years of flying training!
Lt Matthew Johnson said “It was a mixture of the local sea air and a one hour flight at the age of 14 with a late family member that cemented my decision to become a pilot”.
Lt James Hume RN received his Wings as an Observer having decided to join an organisation that could “support my professional adventurous outlook, The Royal Navy!” He receives his Wings following 4 years of training.
Commander (Cdr) Glyn Owen, the Commanding Officer (CO) of 702 NAS said at the ceremony;
“On behalf of the Officers and Ratings of 702 Naval Air Squadron, it is with enormous pleasure that I welcome you here today for the presentation of Wings to Lynx Course 2/13 and the Decommissioning of the Lynx Training Squadron after 36 years. Being awarded one’s Wings is, without doubt, the most significant day in the professional life of a young Naval Aviator. The Officers graduating today have the additional honour of receiving their Wings from our Guest of Honour Vice Admiral Richards CB, Chief of Defence Intelligence. We thank him for giving so generously of his valuable time to be with us.” Cdr Owen added “To all of our friends and colleagues, but particularly the families of those graduating, I hope you have a wonderful and memorable day.
During the ceremony time was taken to reflect on and acknowledge 702 Squadron’s history. Since 1978 702 NAS has trained over 800 Pilots and Observers, and thousands of Engineering Technicians and 44 Foreign Exchange aircrew have been awarded their Royal Navy Wings. Through this period there have been over 50 Foreign exchange instructors gaining knowledge of training and operations in the Royal Navy whilst bringing our own experience and skills to the Squadron. This has included aircrew from Australia, Brazil, France, Holland, Denmark and the US.
825 NAS, the new Wildcat Squadron commissioned 1 August 2014, although the ceremony marking the commissioning will not take place until 10 October 14. There will be a ' transition' from Lynx to Wildcat until 2017 with all Force elements establishing at one location at RNAS Yeovilton in 2016.