Harriers Ascending (no more)

I really enjoy the things I do, if I didn’t it would be sad for me I guess, although many many people struggle to find enjoyment in their lives. I’m at RAF Wittering for a couple of days of training and as much as the commute from Kent to (almost) Lincolnshire on a Friday afternoon is hell it is great to be here. Everyone I meet or speak to feels privileged to be able to visit the places we do and have unique experiences.

While driving to the 504 Sqn building I passed two Harrier aircraft out on the pan enjoying the morning sun. It would have been a silly thing to keep driving past them so I stopped, got out the phone camera and tried to capture them in their morning glory.

Harrier GR3
Harrier GR3

This beast is, as far as I can tell, and I’m happy to be corrected a Harrier GR3. Although it looks a little old I do like the matt effect paint. There was a time when these screeching jets were all the rage around RAF Wittering but now the air force has a new VSTOL plane based at Marham. Next to the GR3 was the trainer:

Harrier T2 or 4
Harrier T2 or 4

I think there are only a few viewing angles where this one looks gorgeous. The extra bubble canopy really doesn’t help. I’ve never been a big fan of Harriers, they were always very noisy and didn’t seem that impressive to me but I might be slowly changing my mind. I saw two Spanish AV8 fly at RIAT this year and there’s definitely something special about them, especially on the slow pass and hover.

After getting back in the car I head to the little car park by 504 and what do I see but two fire appliances/trucks/engines or whatever you want to call them. I’ve got a mate who is a firefighter and so I tend to send him pictures of any trucks I see. It was while taking these I realised these trucks were from Ascension Island and the little air force base there. Amazing, the things you see.

Fire Appliances from Ascension Island
Fire Appliances from Ascension Island

Apologies for my shadow getting in the way. There was an issue with the sun and directions for the best photo.


I recently spent a lovely week at RAF Wittering [EGXT] with the MGS CCF RAF Section. We were there with cadets and staff from Malvern College who all turned out to be great people. In fact, their Officer Commanding had been on my OIC course.

Harrier Fun
Harrier Fun

Here’s a list of activities we got up to followed by a small photograph gallery which could have been bigger but sometimes there are restrictions on what we can photograph.

  • High ropes course and power fan
  • Archery
  • Air Experience Flying with No 5 AEF
  • WHST
  • Shooting with the L98A2
  • Drill and drill competition
  • Command Tasks
  • Visit to Marshalls Aerospace Company
  • Visit to the American Cemetery near Cambridge
  • 5131 BD Sqn visit
  • Fire Section visit [I might have been sprayed by a branch]
  • Harrier Heritage Centre visit
  • I did two runs
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Meal out in Stamford
  • Outreach team
  • Party minibus

This was a very enjoyable camp. Great fun. Some of the pictures below aren’t really level with the horizon, but I am not going to edit them. It’d take time I don’t really have.

My last photo is of a lovely elliptical bridge I saw in Leicester. Very pretty:

Elliptical Beauty
Elliptical Beauty