RAF 5001 Squadron has been celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and held a special luncheon to commemorate the occasion.
Squadron members and invited guests gathered at RAF Wittering for the event. Attendees included previous squadron members, senior RAF officers, members of the RAF Airfield Construction Officers Association and Airfield Construction Branch, the Honourable Company of Constructors and Industry.
More than seventy people, including Rubb UK MD Ian Hindmoor and Sales Manager Andy Knox, attended the anniversary lunch, which was held in the Officers’ Mess at RAF Wittering. It was a rare opportunity for the Squadron, which contributes to so many current operations, to catch up with old friends and celebrate its achievements over 75 years.
5001 Squadron is responsible for the rapid construction of Temporary Working Environment (TWE) and the installation of Portable Aircraft Arrestor Gear (PAAG). TWE provides environmentally controlled facilities, including Rubb military structures, for Fast Jet or Rotary assets and has been supporting exercises and Operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Europe and the Falkland Islands.
5001 Squadron was first formed during World War II as part of the Airfield Construction Branch, tasked with constructing and maintaining airfields. 5001 Squadron reformed in 1999 and delivers the modern equivalent of this capability in today’s expeditionary focused RAF. The Squadron retains the motto ‘Fit Via Vi’ meaning ‘A Way is Made by Force’.
Squadron Leader Colin Green said: “I think what makes 5001 Squadron special is that we’re ‘real-world’ engineers. You can have all the sophisticated equipment in the world, but sometimes the world can stop for the want of a valve – and that’s when you need the skilled hands-on engineer.”
Rubb Managing Director Ian Hindmoor said: “We are delighted to be associated with RAF 5001 Squadron, and all at Rubb Buildings Ltd congratulate them all on their 75th anniversary. For many years we have worked closely with the squadron to develop our product range. This relationship remains very strong to this day. They tirelessly travel to some of the most challenging locations throughout the world, erecting, dismantling and maintaining Rubb military structures. We wish them all the best for the future and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Group Captain Rich Pratley, Station Commander at RAF Wittering and head of the A4 Force, to which the Squadron belongs, said: “This is 75 years of a remarkable engineering tradition, taking a bare patch of land and making it useable for aircraft. Times have changed but this is still what 5001 Squadron is about; those essential engineering skills we can’t do without.”
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