Squadron marches off into history at parade

Mark Westley Photography'An Army aviation squadron will celebrate its achievements of its soldiers in Afghanistan as it is placed into suspended animation.'A reorganisation of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, which flies the Apache attack helicopter, will see 654 Squadron mothballed. The disbandment will be marked with a parade at Wattisham Flying Station, with members of the squadron who have recently deployed to Afghanistan presented with Operational Service Medals.'Escort of the Guidon, CO for Reginal Army Air Corp LT COL Chris Bisset. ANL-140807-200704009
Mark Westley Photography'An Army aviation squadron will celebrate its achievements of its soldiers in Afghanistan as it is placed into suspended animation.'A reorganisation of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, which flies the Apache attack helicopter, will see 654 Squadron mothballed. The disbandment will be marked with a parade at Wattisham Flying Station, with members of the squadron who have recently deployed to Afghanistan presented with Operational Service Medals.'Escort of the Guidon, CO for Reginal Army Air Corp LT COL Chris Bisset. ANL-140807-200704009
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A squadron, which was formed in the Second World War, marched off into history at a celebration parade to mark its disbandment.

Nearly 100 soldiers from 654 Squadron marched for the last time at Wattisham Airfield following a reorganisation of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps.

The restructuring, which is part of the Army 2020 reforms, will see 4 Regt AAC reduce from three to two squadrons.

An Army spokesman said the soldiers would serve other squadrons within 4 Regt and go between other regiments at Wattisham and elsewhere.

During the event, 10 members of the squadron, who were recently deployed to Afghanistan, were presented with operational service medals.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Bisset, commanding officer of 4 Regt AAC, said: “This parade has been a bittersweet occasion, mixing the sadness of 654 Squadron’s disbandment with a celebration of the regiment’s contribution to operations in Afghanistan.

“All who have served with 654 Squadron, dating back to its origins in the Second World War, can be hugely proud of their contribution.”

The 654 Sqn was formed in 1942, operating in North Africa and Italy.

Since being equipped with the Apache in 2007, the squadron has been deployed to Afghanistan four times.