This week marks the first time a female officer has ever been appointed to become the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an Operational Group during the RAF’s 103 history. The RAF announced that Air Commodore Suraya Marshall will be promoted to Air Vice Marshall and appointed AOC of 2 Group. In simplistic terms, No.2 Group commands the Force Enablers of the RAF. This includes Air Mobility, Force Protection, Battle Space Management and Support Force which includes everything from Cyber Security, Logistics, the RAF’s talented Musicians and the RAF’s Fire and Rescue Service. The challenge of leading this vast range of cutting-edge capabilities with an ever growing task list must be incredible. However, we at the Museum are in no doubt that AVM Marshall will continue to benefit from the RAF’s pool of exceptionally talented personnel and will lead the group through whatever challenges the future holds. The Museum of RAF Firefighting want to offer their sincere congratulations to AVM Marshall on her appointment and wish her every success.

After last weekend’s success of displaying our vehicles at the Sandtoft Blues and Two’s event and LincsFest– where we revealed the Fordson 45 Monitor for the first time AND announced our partnership with Scampton Holdings Ltd – this weekend was a chance for the team to catch their breath and reflect. The resounding views of the team were all positive but, most of all, everyone was just happy to return to some sort of normal and be able to attend events to engage with the public. Of course, like everything, there is always ways that we can improve including better visuals and displays but we will use the experience of the last two shows to keep improving for our next event which is the IBCC’s Wings and Wheel’s event on the 5th of September! We are also always open to suggestions or feedback. If you saw our displays or chatted to us, please feel free to leave a comment or feedback on this article, message us on Facebook or email enquiry@firemusuem.uk.

After the feedback session concluded the team set about their various tasks including the continued efforts to catalogue and organise the extensive documentation and literature in the library, counting the shop stock after the sales from last weekend and general admin tasks around the HQ or storage area. All of the funds generated from any shop sales or donations at shows help towards the costs of maintaining the museum vehicles and artifacts. Our latest project, the Fordson 45 Monitor Project, is the latest focus of the museum and you can see the next stage of the project here.

The Mobile Display Unit (MDU) also made massive progress this weekend and the team’s efforts was clear to see. Whilst it is a relatively small space, the team have worked hard to enable us to bring a tiny fraction of the museum’s displays and artifacts, the history of the trade and what the future holds for the museum to shows so we can spread our message as wide widely as possible to the public.

Finally, after seeing this week’s events unfold in Afghanistan, it would be remiss of us not to end this update by highlighting our next Crashline Call which will be held on the 1st of September at 1900. These free zoom calls offer MOD Emergency Service Veterans and personnel the chance to get together virtually and share in some of the comradery and banter with colleagues and friends. If you are interested in attending, or know someone who could benefit from these calls, please share the details or get them to email alexander.wardlaw@firemuseum.uk. Also the RAF have published a webpage with links to charities and useful tools for serving personnel and Veterans needing help with their health. Please seek the help you need if you are struggling and stay safe.

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