A speech by Prince Harry at RAF Honington

Published

It is clear that every member of the Squadron possesses the determination and professionalism to succeed, even in the most arduous of circumstances.

26 Squadron has earned a distinguished reputation amongst the United Kingdom's Armed Forces since its incarnation in 1951.

Consistent with the origins of the RAF Regiment, 26 Squadron was formed as a Ground Based Air Defence unit; a role that the squadron fulfilled until it was disbanded in 2008.

Such is the versatility of the RAF Regiment; the Squadron also took part in many security operations in a light infantry role.

During this first part of the Squadron's history, it was deployed on numerous operations around the world; including Egypt, in response to the Suez crisis; Jordan; Cyprus; Singapore, in response to the Indonesian Confrontation; Oman; Northern Ireland; the Falkland Islands and most recently Southern Iraq.

In 2008 the Squadron was disbanded as a result of all Ground Based Air Defence capabilities being transferred to the British Army.

The Squadron was reincarnated in 2010 as a specialist Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear unit.

It now operates in close partnership with its sister Squadron, No 27 Squadron RAF Regiment, to provide support to the military and domestic emergency services.

This role is vital to UK Defence and Civil response capabilities; it is also highly valued by NATO: alongside 27 Squadron it is constantly committed at extremely-high readiness to support the combined emergency service and military response to a CBRN terrorist incident in the UK.

Indeed, such is the vital nature of this role; that responsibility has been handed over to the remainder of the wing to allow the Squadron to be on the parade today.

Such is the importance of their role and therefore the demands upon the Squadron, that they regularly train with live agents, in order to ensure that their skills are of the very highest order.

It is clear that every member of the Squadron possesses the determination and professionalism to succeed, even in the most arduous of circumstances.

Traits which have ensured the Squadron’s success since its formation and that are embodied in this new Standard and the proud history it represents.

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