Babcock Ovation Award and FAA Memorial Cheque Presentation
In a small ceremony at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, 727 Naval Air Squadron were presented with a rarely awarded company distinction from Babcock International.
The Award, in the form of a welfare cheque for £500 was accepted by the Chief Flying Instructor and Contract Manager, Ray McCollum from the General Manager-Air of Babcock International Group Steve Power. 727 NAS was awarded this rare honour in recognition of outstanding performance as a unit over a sustained period covering the last 3 years.
The Squadron trains young Naval Aviators and conducts air experience flights and has used the Grob Tutor aircraft since 2006. Having stood-up in Gibraltar on 26 May 1943 as a Fleet Requirements Unit providing target towing aircraft covering an area across the Mediterranean towards Algiers. During the 40’s and 50’s the squadron formed and disband twice moving from RNAS lee on Solent in Hampshire to RNAS Brawdy in West Wales. Flying a variety of both fixed wing aircraft, notably Supermarine Seafires and De Havilland Sea Vampires and Dragonfly Helicopters.
The squadron eventually arrived at the Britannia Royal Naval Collage Dartmouth and was renamed the Royal Navy Training Flight. There they carried out the air experience flying role for the Navy. The size of the flight sometimes being as many as 12 Chipmunks.
727 NAS last home was Plymouth airport where it was reformed again in its current set-up. The present squadron was created on 6 Dec 2001 and provides grading and acquaints for Royal Navy and Royal Marine pilots under training, as well as supporting the Royal Navy's "Flying Start" flying scholarship scheme.
Conscious of the Squadron’s Fleet Air Arm heritage, Babcock have also donated £100 to be put towards 702 Squadron’s FAA Eastchurch Memorial Fund. The cheque was presented by Babcock to the Commanding Officer of 702 NAS, Commander Pete Hoare.
Babcock International has over 70 years' experience of flying training, aircraft provision and through-life support to the UK's armed forces. The UK's armed forces have some of the best aircrew in the world. The training they receive is vital for the ongoing success of missions, from protecting ground operations through transporting humanitarian aid to providing search and rescue services around Britain's coastline.
The Commanding Officer of 727 NAS, Lieutenant Commander Glen Allison is very proud of the award, and said. “As a Naval Air Squadron we are very busy training the Royal Navy aviators of the future. Babcock provides a very safe operating environment to achieve our aim, especially as a lot of our flying involves working with young Sea and CCF cadets who are not necessary familiar with flying”.
Lt Cdr Glen Allison continues, “Although the flying training pipeline has slowed down while the RN transitions to new aircraft types, we are still looking towards the future and promoting schemes such as the RN Special Flying Award within the Cadet Forces. Babcock pilots and engineers are pivotal in providing a variety of Air Experience courses alongside RN pilots and they continue to be enjoyed by over 500 cadets a year.”