Op SHADER Awards for 1 (Fighter) Squadron
RAF Pilots Awarded Top Operational Honours for Role in Fighting ISIS
Royal Air Force personnel from the 1(Fighter) Squadron deployed to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus last year have received an array of awards for their outstanding efforts on Operation SHADER, the codename for Britain’s contribution to the fight against ISIS, according to a statement from the RAF.
1(Fighter) Squadron is the world’s oldest flying squadron in service. Based at RAF Lossiemouth, one of two Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) stations in the UK, 1(F) Squadron introduced the Typhoon’s Paveway IV capability to the frontline. Former aircraft have included the Bristol Scout, Hurricane I, Spitfire IX and the Harrier GR5.
Distinguished Flying Cross for RAF Typhoon Pilot
Flight Lieutenant Thomas Hansford was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his courage during a Close Air Support mission to support friendly forces and civilians under fire in an Islamic State stronghold.
Squadron Leader (now Wing Commander) Chris Wright, was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire (MBE) for facilitating the tactical proficiency of 1(F) Squadron, and for his outstanding performance in combat.
The Commanding Officer of 1(F) Squadron, Wing Commander Chris Hoyle, received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) for his impeccable leadership.
The recognition the 1(F) Squadron has received is a reflection of the exceptional effort, dedication and fortitude that the whole team displayed during its five month operational deployment. The team’s hard work, talent and commitment paid-off and delivered a chapter befitting the Squadron’s rich history. It was my profound honour to have served my nation as part of such a capable, professional and spirited team.
Wing Commander Chris Hoyle, Commanding Officer of 1(F) Squadron
The Senior Engineering Officer for the 1(F) deployment, Squadron Leader Robert South, was awarded the Joint Commanders Commendation (JCC) for leading his team of engineers to achieve unparalleled output.
It was an absolute privilege to serve on 1(F) Squadron as the Senior Engineer Officer; working within such a professional and motivated team, this has undoubtedly been the highlight of my Royal Air Force career to date.
Squadron Leader Robert South, Senior Engineering Officer for the 1(F) deployment
Image: Wing Commander Chris Hoyle, Commanding Officer of 1(F) Squadron, pictured in front of the Squadron’s Typhoon fighter aircraft (Crown Copyright, 2018).