September 29, 2021 11.04 am

Prince Edward visits RAF Waddington for E-3D Sentry retirement

Marking 30 years of RAF service

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, visited RAF Waddington on Tuesday to mark the retirement of the E-3D Sentry from RAF service after 30 years.

A Royal Parade was held on Tuesday, September 28 and the event saw a flypast conducted by an 8 Squadron E-3D Sentry.

The event also marked three decades of RAF service for an aircraft. The retirement of the Sentry will see 8 Squadron relocated to RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, where they will operate the E-7 Wedgetail.

The flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

8 Squadron infront of the Sentry E-3D. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

The aircraft has seen extensive use during operations and with NATO. These operations range from counter narcotic drug operations in the Caribbean through to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

More recently, the aircraft was employed on Operation Shader in the fight against Daesh and on Operation Fortis which saw them directly supporting the UK Carrier Strike Group.

The event was attended and reviewed by Prince Edward, an Honorary Air Commodore. He was accompanied by Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group, Air Vice Marshal Allan Marshall and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Commander, Major General Thomas E Kunkel from the United States Air Force.

His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, as the reviewing officer for 8 Squadron parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

HRH Prince Edward inspecting 8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

The Officer Commander 8 Squadron, Wing Commander Victoria Williams, during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

The Officer Commanding 8 Squadron, Wing Commander Victoria Williams was the parade commander.

She said: “The parade has provided a fitting send-off for an iconic aircraft, the day is clearly an emotional one but we are all incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the last 30 years.

“The commitment and output provided to UK Defence and NATO has been exceptional and I know that 8 Squadron will be looking forward to transitioning to the E-7 Wedgetail in due course.”

The flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

HRH Prince Edward and Group Capt Kilvington, Station Commander at RAF Waddington, during the flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

Group Captain Stephen Kilvington, the Station Commander at RAF Waddington, said: “As a previous Commander of 8 Squadron I am extremely proud of what the E-3D Sentry has delivered across its 30 years of service.

“It has been an outstanding capability operated by outstanding people. The reputation of the Force in the RAF and with our Allies is second to none and so it is only natural that its retirement is tinged with sadness.

“The future for our intelligence assets is an exciting one. 8 Squadron will introduce Wedgetail into service at RAF Lossiemouth whilst RAF Waddington will benefit from £94M of investment to support the arrival of Protector and our wider capabilities, ensuring our people continue to deliver exceptional operational output for many years to come.”

See the rest of the gallery below:

8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

HRH Prince Edward and Group Capt Kilvington, Station Commander at RAF Waddington, during the flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

His Royal Highness Prince Edward talking to the 8 Squadron. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

Prince Edward speaking to 8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

The Earl of Wessex and Group Capt Kilvington during the flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

HRH Prince Edward inspecting 8 Squadron personnel during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

The Earl of Wessex and Group Capt Kilvington during the flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

HRH Prince Edward and Group Capt Kilvington, Station Commander at RAF Waddington, during the flypast of an 8 Squadron E3-D Sentry during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

Officer Commander 8 Sqaudron, Wing Commander Victoria Williams, during the parade. | Photo: UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

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