Page 5 - issue19.04.2019
P. 5

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P5


       Chem plant raid

       hero is honoured

                                                                                                  Simon Mander
                                                                                                  A TYPHOON  Top Gun who
                                                                                                  played a key role in a raid which
                                                                                                  destroyed a Syrian chemical
                                                                                                  weapons dump after more than
                                                                                                  70 civilians were murdered in a
                                                                                                  gas attack has been awarded the
                                                                                                  Distinguished Flying Cross.
                                                                                                    Sqn Ldr Alex Vaughan was
                                                                                                  the lead pilot for the combat jets
                                                                                                  formation protecting four Tornado
                                                                                                  GR4 bombers which launched a long-
                                                                                                  range attack using Storm Shadow
                                                                   Aleppo                         cruise missiles to destroy the military
                                                                                                  facility 15 miles west of Homs.
                                                                                       Raqqa        The daring mission was executed
                                                                                                  at night close to the sea to avoid   AFTERMATH: Aid workers move bodies
                                                                                                  detection from enemy radar, with   of civilians killed in chemical attack.
                                                                                                  surface-to-air missiles and fighter   PHOTO: PA
                                                                                                  threats targeting the formations.   base, has been used to store deadly
                                                                                                    Surprise was vital to the success  materials banned under the Chemical
             CYPRUS                                                      SYRIA                    of the unprecedented low-level raid  Weapons  Convention, according to
                                                                                                  and so Vaughan led a silent departure  Coalition intelligence experts.
                                                             Homs                                 from the strike force’s base.    Praising the actions of the
                                                                                                    But just minutes from the target  airman, a MoD spokesman added:
           RAF Akrotiri                                             Douma                         zone he suffered a malfunction that  “Unfazed, he ensured the area was
                                                                                                                                 safe, and once content that the
                                                                                                  prevented him refuelling his aircraft.
                                                                                                    Despite the setback Sqn Ldr  enemy  fighters  no  longer  posed
                                        LEBANON                                                   Vaughan, then a Flt Lt, guarded the  a threat, turned to escort the     IRAN
                                                                                                  Tornados as they unleased their deadly  Tornados through any potential
                                                          DAMASCUS                                payload before turning for home.  ambush patrols on their departure.
                                                                                                    At that point, at great personal
                                                                                                  risk, Vaughan ordered the Typhoons  Vaughan showed courage and
                                                                                                  to shield the bombers from the most  professionalism  to  overcome
                                                                                                          IRAQe despite  tactical challenges in a complex and
                                                                                                  threatening enemy airbas
                                                                                                  him and his wingman receiving in-  dynamic situation.
                                                                                                  cockpit warnings that surface-to-air   “For  his  bravery  and  skill  in  the
                                                                                                  missile systems were targeting them.  delivery of operational excellence he is
                                                                                                    He said: “It was a privilege to play  recommended for national recognition.”
                                                                                                  a small part in the overall success of   At the time Defence Secretary
                                                                                                  this mission, driven primarily by  Gavin  Williamson  said:  “The
                                                          ACCUSED: But                            the Tornado Force.             reprehensible use of chemical weapons
                                    PALESTINE             Syrian President                          “Everyone on the squadron,  in Douma is further evidence of the
                                                          Assad denies                            from engineers, operations support  Syrian regime’s appalling cruelty
                                                          using chemical                          and aircrew, had a part to play in  against its own people.
                                                          weapons in
                                                          attack on Douma.                        making this happen.              “We will not stand by whilst
                                                          PHOTO: PA                                 “It was an honour to work with  innocent civilians, including women
                                  ISRAEL          JORDAN                                          such a professional team.”     and children, are killed and made to
                                                                                                    The target site, a former missile  suffer.”
              EGYPT                                                                   SAUDI ARABIA
           News bulletin                                  Battle of Britain hero Terry going great guns at 100                                                                  Basrah
       F1 race  ace’s

       battlefield bid                                                 Staff Reporter             joined by Linton-on-Ouse Station
                                                                                                     Yorkshire-based Terry was
                                                                        ONE OF the UK’s dwindling
       UK RACE team Williams is                                          band of Battle of Britain   Commander Gp Capt Keith Taylor                                              KUWAIT
       working with the MoD to develop                                   heroes has celebrated his   and personnel from his local base
       battlefield shelters using lightweight                            100th birthday.          and local artist Steve Teasdale as
       F1 technology for frontline troops.                                  WWII veteran Terry    he opened his telegram from The
         Current temporary structures                                     Clark was just 19 when he   Queen.
       used on the battlefield traditionally                              signed up in 1938 as an    During  his wartime  service
       use heavyweight materials such as                                   air gunner and went on   Terry flew on Fairy Battles,
       corrugated iron and sandbags.                                       to earn the Distinguished   Bristol Blenheims as a gunner
         A spokesman said: “Being able to                                  Flying  Medal  as   a  and Beaufighters as one of the
       deliver enhanced, lighter protection                               Mosquito     navigator,  RAF’s first radar operators before
       for  the  Armed  Forces  gives  us  a                              credited with helping to   moving across to the Mosquito in
       great  feeling.”                                                   down six Nazi aircraft.  1942 as a navigator.
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