YUAS: A Year of Success
As we write this entry into Linton Link, we reflect on this time last year when we were invited to write our first ever entry, aptly titled: ‘A Hello from Yorkshire’. Twelve months on from leaving RAF Church Fenton, we look back on one of most successful years on Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron in recent memory.
Since re-locating to Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire has been named the best UAS in the country, completed the Great British Triathlon, and made the most of every possible opportunity of being part of a superb station. As we reflect on 2014 we’d like to thank everyone at Linton-on-Ouse who has and continue to make our integration here a success, and as we develop and grow as a squadron we are aware there is always room for change, something we are more than happy to embrace. Looking back to 2014, what a way to round off the year. Yorkshire was humbled to be invited to our first Lunch of the Year, a fantastic way to celebrate a successful flying year between 72 Sqn and YUAS . Having somewhat filled the empty seats of the right hand side of the dining hall left behind from 207 Sqn, Lunch of the Year provided an apt opportunity to display our talents against those sat on left hand side. Yorkshire took victory in the Tug of War, Mess Rugby, and of course, out-sung 72 Sqn in both bar songs and the karaoke. There were however, as always, areas for improvement. At the next Lunch of the Year YUAS will have its Search and Rescue teams on a heightened state of readiness, and the Mess Cannon team are currently conducting a far-reaching internal enquiry. Having learnt the lessons from this year, we eagerly await next year to put our drills into practice. Following on from Lunch of the Year, Yorkshire had a fantastic time at the Linton-on-Ouse Christmas Draw, our first in attendance. It was a great chance to meet members of the station and wider Linton community. Next year our Entertainments Team will be more than happy to supply (and put down) decorations again given the largely positive feedback we received this year. Our year was completed by our participation in the annual station Crash Ex. It was fantastic opportunity for us to practice our readiness and response to an incident, and for a shorter member of the YUAS community to be acquainted with the 03 threshold in the middle of December. Rumour has it he’s still shivering.
Entering 2015, we are pleased to announce the attestation of 31 new members of YUAS that now comprise 46 Course. The Course successfully completed their induction camp that included an introduction to military skills, a Staff Ride, and a 4-day Adventurous Training (AT) expedition. Our induction camp provides an excellent opportunity to push new students beyond their comfort zones, bond as a Course, and provide them with enough knowledge to navigate their way around an RAF station. We’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience when interacting with our newest members, particularly MPGS at the front of house who endure more exposure than most! Only 6 days into 2015 and Yorkshire embarked on its first AT expedition of the year. Fifteen Officer Cadets and 4 members of Staff, including Linton’s very own ‘Coops’ from PEd flight, travelled to the island of Lanzarote for a week’s mountain biking. In just under 20degC the group biked the entire perimeter of the island in 6 days. Entirely self-sufficient for the duration of the exped, the group rough-camped at locations close to the end of the route each day and ate locally purchased food. There were widespread rumours of a Bigfoot sighting on the island, however these were quickly confirmed to be a certain Officer Cadet’s unsavoury form of a makeshift shower. And as we write this entry, Yorkshire’s annual squadron-wide ski expedition is currently taking place in La Bresse. Spread over 4 serials, all members of YUAS are working towards their British Army Skiing Foundation certificates, levels 1 to 3. We’d also like to thank Flt Lts Buffery and Pilling for serving this year as instructors. The continued support from 72 Sqn has contributed to another successful year of skiing training.
During the winter there were many days when YUAS were prohibited from getting airborne. That having been said, we were incredibly pleased to welcome the Basic Fast Jet Enrichment Course from 16 Sqn to our crew-room here at Linton. Utilising our 6 Tutors, the students of BFJEC have been completing additional sorties in preparation for BFJT here at Linton. The students have been quoted commenting on the excellent serviceability of all our aircraft, excellent crew-room discourse, and the spotless 72 Sqn quote of the quarter: “6th March on the green is where it’s at… it’ll be fine” knowledge of YUAS students’ checks during Emergency of the Day. The BFJECkers have also been making the most of their time conducting aerobatics on the Tutor, as this may well be a thing of the past when they leave 16 Sqn. In fact, YUAS can only attribute the number of 72 Sqn QFIs joining our AEF as a means of retaining their aeros currency. Rumour has it the general public is eagerly awaiting this year’s Tutor display, in place of the Tucano. Despite the poor weather, when we are flying it is likely that a good number are our Tutors are piloted by our solo students, completing solo general handling or our advance syllabus. Our staff and students alike would like to send a massive thank you to Air Traffic for their continued support and assistance of our flying operations. And in this entry we are incredibly excited to announce YUAS Students’ Air Traffickers of 2014. Last year’s winners are Flt Lt O’Brien and Sgt Jones, for their clear guidance and always reassuring voices! Voting for YUAS Students’ Air Traffickers of 2015 is now open! Assessments are ongoing…
This time we sign off with some exiting news about our squadron band: The Approach. Bookings for the 2015 season are now open. Our first gig of the season was an exclusive set at the YUAS Valentine’s Ball in the Officers’ Mess on 21st February. The Approach performs a wide variety of songs with guaranteed crowd engagement. If you require The Approach’s services, please pop down to Hangar 3 and make your interest known!
Until next time,