Divisions as 1144 Personnel Parade at RNAS Yeovilton
From the PRO RNAS Yeovilton.
Over one thousand personnel mustered on Yankee dispersal at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton for the Fleet Air Arm's largest Ceremonial Divisions this century at its Somerset home.
The 1144 Sailors and Soldiers were inspected by Rear Admiral (RAdm) Keith Blount CB, OBE, FRAes, and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Aviation, Amphibious Capability and Carriers). Rear Admiral Blount addressed Divisions and said;
“This is a wonderful sight! This Air Station is unique in the sense that it’s a blend of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and truly embraces whole force concept”
Divisions also allowed RAdm Blount to recognise and reward the excellent achievements and recent deployed success achieved.
Dressed in their No1 uniforms, medals on, men and women assigned to HMS Heron – the air station – in 40 platoons marched with all the pomp and ceremony to the accompaniment of HMS Heron Band Volunteer Band. Royal Navy personnel were joined by the Army, an integral part of RNAS Yeoviltons establishment. All were welcomed by the Station's Commanding Officer Commodore Nick Tindal.
Divisions originated to manage discipline, training, health and welfare on board early Royal Navy warships when on early Royal Navy warships. These groups, ‘divisions’ usually consisted of an Officer and a number of Junior and Senior Ratings. They would mess together and on Sunday’s parade (or drill) as a Division in front of the Commanding Officer. The structure survives today.
A vast amount of aviation training happens at RNAS Yeovilton and an event like this provides an ideal opportunity to acknowledge personnel’s achievements across all departments of a very busy air station recognising the exceptional contribution of an individual or team to UK maritime aviation. Today demonstrated a highly trained, disciplined and professional body of people.