Wattisham crew saluted for breathtaking shows

Soldiers at Wattisham Airfield have been honoured for their Apache flying displays. ANL-140212-144716001
Soldiers at Wattisham Airfield have been honoured for their Apache flying displays. ANL-140212-144716001

The team behind some spectacular air displays – enabling the Apache helicopter to fly in front of 500,000 people at air shows across the country – has been honoured.

The Attack Helicopter Display Team (AHDT) was presented with the Pooley Sword – an annual award given to an individual or group who have made a significant and concerted contribution to the attack helicopter force at home or on operations.

The team from 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Wattisham Airfield, carried out 10 displays this year, including six major air shows and the national event for Armed Forces Day in Stirling.

AHDT manager Captain Chuck Nicol said: “It’s wonderful to receive this recognition for a lot of hard work across the year by the 12-strong team of ground crew, technicians and aircrew.

“Our aim is to improve public understanding of the role of the attack helicopter force by telling the story of its work on operations in Afghanistan.”

A photograph of an Apache flying in front of a billowing cloud of fire and smoke at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford was chosen by a public vote as the best image in the 2014 Army Photographic Competition.

The scenario showcased the agility and speed of the Apache, with pyrotechnic explosions simulating its gun fire and rockets – and real time radio transmission between the pilot and the simulated ground forces – helping to bring the display to life.

The picture was taken by Royal Logistical Corps photographer Corporal Jamie Peters.