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Featured Print

Blues and Royals at Horse Guards

Pictured are Blues and Royals horses at Horse Guards.
The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 from an amalgamation of the  Royal Horse Guards, which was known as "the Blues" or "the Oxford Blues", and the Royal Dragoons, which was known as "the Royals".
As a result of the Options for Change Review in 1991, the Blues and Royals formed a union for operational purposes with the Life Guards as the Household Cavalry Regiment.
However, they each maintain their regimental identity, with distinct uniforms and traditions, and their own colonel. The Blues and Royals currently has two reconnaissance squadrons in Windsor, which are part of the Household Cavalry Regiment, and a mounted squadron in London as part of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Instead of being known as the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, the regiment is known as the Blues and Royals and is therefore the only regiment in the British Army to be officially known by their nickname as opposed to their full name.
On ceremonial occasions, the Blues and Royals wear a blue tunic (inherited from the Royal Horse Guards, also known as "the Blues"), a metal cuirass, and a matching helmet with a red plume worn unbound, and against popular belief the regiment's farriers wear a red plume like the rest of the regiment but do not wear the metal cuirass. In addition, the Blues and Royals wear their chin strap under their chin, as opposed to the Life Guards, who wear it below their lower lip.
On service dress, the Blues and Royals wear a blue lanyard on the left shoulder, as well as a Sam Browne belt containing a whistle. In most dress orders, the Waterloo Eagle is worn on the left arm as part of dress traditions. 
The Blues and Royals, as part of the Household Division, does not use the Order of the Bath Star for its officer rank 'pips,' but rather the Order of the Garter Star.

© Crown copyright

Featured Print

Raf Sentinel Aircraft Returns from the Middle East

Pictured is an RAF SENTINEL Aircraft returning from the Middle East.
A Royal Air Force Sentinel R1 aircraft based at RAF Waddington, welcomed back following the latest successful mission supporting the coalition in the fight against Daesh in the Middle East.
The Aircraft and Crew where the crew have been supporting coalition operations by supplying information that ensures the strikes carried out by the RAF and other coalition aircraft are accurate.
The Sentinel crew used the aircraft's powerful radar to identify and track numerous targets over great distances, passing the information in near real time to friendly forces.
The information gathered was also used by intelligence specialists to conduct in-depth forensic analysis of the data to generate intelligence products that are passed to commanders and decision makers enabling them to plan future operations.
5 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron was reformed on 1 April 2004 at RAF Waddington to operate the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) System, flown on five modified Bombardier Global Express aircraft. In RAF service, the aircraft type is known as the Sentinel R Mk 1, with the R acknowledging its Reconnaissance role.
The Squadron's mission in the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance role is at the cutting edge of technology and military capability.
The ISR role is of the highest priority for modern commanders and is pivotal in today's ‘asymmetric-warfare' challenge in the global war on terrorism, where the enemy is elusive and the Battlespace has no boundary.
For 5 (AC) Squadron, the role is most apt, as after operating proudly as a fighter Squadron for 50 years, the Squadron reformed and switched to ISR role signalling a return to its roots.
5 (AC) Squadron celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013.

© Crown copyright

Featured Print

RAF Typhoon Display Team Jet for 2014

The newly painted tail of the RAF Typhoon Display jet, from 29 Reserve (R) Squadron (Sqn) is flown for the first time and accompanied by a Typhoon in the original design.
29(R) Sqn are based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby in Lincolnshire and their prim, ary role is to provide support to air operations and train new pilots on the Eurofighter Typhoon airframe. They are also home to the Eurofighter Typhoon Display Team, with pilot Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Noel Rees piloting the display and supported by squadron engineers and other station personnel.
The tail was designed by Adam Johnson of Adam Johnson Concepts and painted by Serco contractors based at RAF Coningsby. It took 4 days to complete and contains the squadrons eblem, the buzzard and it's famous XXX.
The purpose of the Typhoon Display team is to show audiences its varied and expansive capabilities. The multi-role fighter jet is the newest in the RAF and the most advanced. It recently saw it's first combat experience over Libya in 2011 and were deployed to Cyprus to protect the Sovereign Base Area last year. There are currently four Typhoon Squadrons based at RAF Coningsby; 29(R) Sqn; 41 Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES); 11 Fighter (F) Squadron and 3 Fighter (F) Squadron. It is also home the the Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) South squadron, who can be launched at anytime to police British Airspace as required. This was called into action most recently intercepting a Pakistani Airlines flight which was reported hijacked last year. There are also a further two Squadrons based in Scotland at RAF Leuchars as well as QRA North.
This image has been cleared by the MCO.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Jim Robinson
Media & Communications Officer (MCO)
RAF Coningsby
Lincolnshire
United Kingdom
LN4 4SY
Civ: 01526 347780

© Crown copyright