RAF Waddington

Pilots, engineers and staff from the Red Arrows will be walking, running, swimming and cycling the equivalent return distance from RAF Scampton to their training base in Greece – raising money for children’s wards at Lincoln County Hospital.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is currently overseas at the Hellenic Air Force base in Tanagra, Greece for pre-season training, known as Exercise Springhawk, perfecting routines for the 2022 season.

While they are out there on a month-long deployment, Red Arrows personnel will be covering 4,182 miles to help a good cause back at their home in Lincolnshire.

Pilots, engineers and other Red Arrows personnel will rack up collective miles across a month. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

The distance is the equivalent of travelling from RAF Scampton to the Hellenic Air Force base and back again, and it will be ran, swam, walked and cycled by those taking part.

They will collectively contribute to the target mileage in aid of Rainforest and Safari children’s wards at Lincoln County Hospital, and are aiming to raise £2,000 for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

You can donate to the cause by visiting the JustGiving page.

They will complete the challenge while on pre-season training in Greece. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

Sergeant Ben Pearson, one of the Red Arrows’ senior mechanical engineers and an organiser of the charity challenge, said: “The team’s had a long association with the wards, with members of the ground crew visiting in previous years to meet young people, their families and staff at Christmas.

“The whole team is very focussed on maintaining fitness levels and using the pre-season training period to prepare in all aspects for the busy summer of displays and events.

“This initiative combines that opportunity, while in Greece, to help raise money for an important good cause located close to our home base back in the UK.”

More than 100 personnel from RAF Waddington and RAF Scampton marched through Lincoln on Friday for a Freedom of the City parade.

The two local Royal Air Force bases exercised their Freedom of the City for the first time since 2019. RAF Scampton was granted freedom of the city in 1993, while RAF Waddington has held the honour since 1959.

They marched from St Martin’s Square, down Lincoln High Street to the war memorial. At the war memorial, they were greeted by the town crier who performed a dedicated commemoration cry to both RAF stations.

A momentous occasion in Lincoln! | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It was the last parade for RAF Scampton prior to its closure at the end of 2022.

Personnel from RAF Scampton will move to RAF Waddington this autumn before doing the final closure tasks and getting their current station ready for its future life

As part of the event, the march celebrated Lincoln’s strong ties with the Royal Air Force with a special flypast from the E-3D. The E-3D returned to its home base at RAF Waddington last summer after its final mission, bringing to a close 30 years of operational service.

It is now retired and used for crew training, as well as for the flypast for the Freedom of the City event.

The event included a special flypast from the E-3D. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Being awarded the Freedom of the City is an ancient honour granted to military organisations, giving them the right to enter the city “with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed”.

The Freedom Scrolls originally presented to each station by the Mayor of Lincoln were also on display.

See the rest of our photo gallery below:

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

West Lindsey District Council could buy RAF Scampton under new plans.

The authority’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee agreed last Thursday to submit an expression of interest in acquiring the military land and the council formally submitted the request today.

The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, which is being put together by WLDC, City of Lincoln Council and North Kesteven District Council, identifies the site as an “opportunity area”.

Committee chairman Councillor Anne Welburn said: “We see that the successful redevelopment of the site of RAF Scampton could contribute significantly to the ‘Levelling Up’ of economic and social outcomes across West Lindsey, Lincolnshire and beyond.

“The importance of this site both in terms of heritage and social history cannot be overstated.

“It is hoped that by registering our interest in the site we can take a leading role in ensuring a positive outcome and we look forward to working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and the Ministry of Defence as we go forwards.

“As a district council we are seeking to provide a safeguard for the future of RAF Scampton. This expression of interest will enable us to do this.

“It does not commit the council to anything apart from helping us to ‘explore all options’ available.”

The Ministry of Defence announced the closure of RAF Scampton as part of cost-cutting measures in 2018.

Since then there have been campaigns to keep the Red Arrows at the site, as well as a number of potential plans for the site, including Horizon Park’s massive edifice to the Red Arrows, a 550 acre commemorative park for the RAF and Dambusters and a 65-acre filming and gaming studio.

The draft Local Plan, which is under consultation until May 9, 2022, requires the preparation of a masterplan prior to any planning applications being submitted.

For more information visit https://central-lincs.inconsult.uk/CLLP.Proposed.Submission./consultationHome or https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/central-lincolnshire/local-plan

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