Posted on November 4, 2019
The Standard, which has three decades of battle honours, was laid to rest at St Mary’s Church in Witney.
Squadron Leader Mark Bowden, Officer Commanding No.2 Squadron, said: “Historically, [a Standard] is something you rally around at a time of a chaos. We haven’t had to do that, so that’s good, but it’s also a huge sense of pride because all your battle honours are emblazoned with the Standard. It’s the one thing you can look to as a Squadron, with your badge on there, the squadron motto and it’s something we all hold quite dear and protect.”
The Standard acts as a reminder of duty well done by the Squadron which has been in service for almost a century. Most recently, during two tours of Afghanistan, it played a key role in protecting Kandahar Airfield. At the front of St Mary’s Church there were 29 helmets – a reminder of the 29 service personnel killed during the Squadron’s history.
Local dignitaries, as well as former members of No.2 Squadron and serving personnel, attended the ceremony. The Standard was hung at the back of the church where it could stay for “decades”, according to Squadron Leader Bowden. “The Squadron’s Standard will stay in the church and act as that point of focus for anyone that comes in,” he said.
The Squadron is part of the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert force. Every member has to be ready to act to threats or emergencies within 6-48 hours – living up to the Squadron’s motto of “never not ready”.