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26 March 2010, 06:48
Wattisham Flying Station is to be awarded the Honourary Freedom of Stowmarket today.
Wattisham is the home of the Army's Apache attack helicopter which has seen continuous service in Afghanistan since the aircraft was first deployed in 2006.
At any one time more than 150 troops from Wattisham are stationed in Helmand Province operating the Apache in support of the NATO-led campaign. This squadron sized group, consisting of pilots, ground crew and technicians, is deployed to Camp Bastion where it fulfils its role for a four-month tour. Wattisham's primary responsibility is to maintain this essential military capability.
To honour this commitment, Stowmarket will bestow the Honourary Freedom of the Town to Wattisham this afternoon. It's the first time the town's ever given the honour. Troops will march through the centre at 4 o'clock.
In the Market Place, The Mayor of Stowmarket will bestow the Freedom.
150 troops will then march to the Bury Street car park, turn around, come back down Bury Street through to the Market Place to take the salute from The Mayor and Colonel David Turner, Commander of Wattisham Flying Station. At the end there will be a flypast by two Apache helicopters and one RAF Sea King helicopter. The whole parade will last approximately 40 minutes.