Wing News

Report from Cosford 2010

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Nijmegen team left from the Nijmegen Team HQ (2428 (Hedge End) Squadron) on 23rd April to undertake the RAF Cosford 50 mile march to qualify for the Nijmegen Marches in July later this year.

The RAF Cosford 50 mile march is spread over two days 25 mile each day to qualify for the Nijmegen marches teams must complete the march with minimal drop outs.

The team, led by Flight Lieutenant Paul Terry and Flying Officer Lee Barfoot who have both completed the Nijmegen Marches many times before, set the team with the task to continually act professional, have constant pride in uniform and march with extreme determination, in which the team excelled.

The team left early hours on Saturday morning at the back of Detachment A. Within hours the team marched to the front of the Detachment, regardless of the team having 6 team members out of 13 carrying weight. The team pushed through the first day with high spirits and good standards and completed the first day in 7 hours, the first team back.

Once the first day was completed, the team sorted out their administration, squared away their kit for the next day and then got some rest for the next day. On Sunday the team was once again at the back of Detachment A, which left after detachment B, leaving Hants and IOW the challenge of marching through all of detachment A before being able to march through detachment B. The team stepped up to the challenge and was the first team into RAF Cosford yet again and completed the march in 6 and a half hours, a personal record for Hants and IOW Wing. The team marched through yet again with outstanding personal and team standards, good team work and above all pride in the name of Hants and IOW Nijmegen Team which has won the Jon Ford Trophy for two years in a row (2008 and 2009) which has never been done before.

The team then had to wait for all the teams to arrive back at RAF Cosford for finial parade and have the winning team of the RAF Cosford march announced. Hants and IOW stood on parade with once again outstanding standards of both uniform and drill, while other teams let their stands slip due to fatigue. As second place was about to be declared it was announced that ?the winning team is not the team with the most pride and personal standards? and was then announced that Hants and IOW came second.

The team left RAF Cosford with huge amount of pride and determination to uphold the teams standards in Nijmegen, Flight Sergeant Terry who has also completed the Nijmegen marches in 2008 and 2009 said "The team stepped up to the challenge of being known as the best ATC marching team in the United Kingdom and continued to raise the standards". Flight Sergeant Tompkins, another cadet who has completed the Nijmegen marches in 2008 and 2009, agreed and said "The Nijmegen marches is easily the most physically and mentally challenging events in the ATC, with the good standards and determination the team had at RAF Cosford, I'm sure the team will all complete the march with the highest standards".