A man from Qualicum Beach said he was proud to serve as part of the Royal Air Force (RAF) during Operation London Bridge for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Canadian-British Alex Close moved across the pond about five years ago and has been training as an aircraft engineer since January.
His unit, based at RAF Cosford, was selected to line up just before the late monarch’s funeral procession reached the gates of Windsor Castle.
“It was mixed feelings, to be honest,” Close said. “Given that it was Her Majesty’s final send-off and the last chance the public and ourselves would see the Queen, it was clearly a very sombre occasion. It was emotional, but at the same time, I was very proud and focused on what I had to do.”
In their role as routeliners, Close and his section performed various drill moves while Her Majesty’s procession made its way along the road. He said it was necessary, but given the importance of the opportunity, it was 100% worth it.
“I remember hearing it for the first time,” said Close, who was parading at home plate when she learned the Queen had died. “When I heard that she had passed away, I felt very strange. I felt very uncomfortable because I knew the gravity of what had just happened. I also had a lot of work to do for the funeral surgery. I knew something.”
They immediately began preparing kits and gear for the procession.
Preparation included a training session at Windsor Castle. The training session lasted from about 10:00 pm to 10:00 am the next morning, with various drill movements to ensure the timing was perfect.
It was attended by personnel from Air Force bases across the UK. His RAF section was selected based on his yearly rotation between his two flanks of RAF Cosford’s aeronautical engineering recruits.
Close, who is also working on his pilot’s license, eventually wants to return to the islands and use his education and skills as a seaplane pilot.
“That’s my dream one day.”
For now, his training keeps him busy. He said he mainly works on maintenance, repair and replacement parts for Jaguar and Hawk fighter planes.
From age 12 to 17, Close spent time as an air cadet with the 893 Beaufort Squadron at Qualicum Beach, attending summer camps, working with other island squadrons, and participating in flying, gliding, and field exercises. , recalls acquiring valuable skills that helped him succeed. in the Air Force.
“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to join the military,” he said. “It seemed like the logical first step would have been to join the Air Cadets, but luckily there was 893. It was just down the road.”
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BC Mann proudly serves ‘Operation London Bridge’ for the Queen’s funeral
Source link BC Mann proudly serves ‘Operation London Bridge’ for the Queen’s funeral