The 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe was marked poignantly by British Forces Gibraltar.
It was an opportunity to reflect and remember fellow service personnel who were involved in the conflict, some of whom paid the ultimate price.
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment was at the forefront of a series of events across Gibraltar. RG Bandmaster WO1 (BM) Jonathan Spencer was delighted to be leading the Band and Corps of Drums through the celebrations of VE 75, and commented, “The unusual circumstances that we have found ourselves in during the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that the Band has remained inactive, therefore I am delighted to be able to once again direct the Band on this momentous day in Europe’s history”.
The Station Commander, Wing Commander Nel Doherty, added, “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to come together – at an appropriate social distance – to commemorate and, indeed, celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. Given the collective effort from both the military and civil communities that enabled victory, it was appropriate that we came together as a Whole Force – RAF, contractors, local employees and families – to pay homage and give thanks to those who have gone before us.”
Much of Operation Torch was dependent on RAF North Front, as the airport was known then, having opened in 1942. It went on to host many of the RAF’s most famous wartime aircraft, including the Spitfire.
Working together with the GHA to beat COVID
In the fight against COVID-19, personnel from British Forces Gibraltar have been on-hand to assist colleagues in the GHA.
The military medical personnel will, alongside the ambulance crews, attend emergency calls supporting in the delivery of medical care and aid to members of the public. This activity supports the resilience of the GHA to deliver a high quality medical emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sigurd Haveland, Chief Ambulance Officer stated: “It’s been a privilege to welcome such a great team with so much enthusiasm to gain an insight into the Gibraltar Ambulance Service.”
Lieutenant Commander Warren Haynes stated: “Our team are all trained to an extremely high medic standard and possess significant experience; they are relishing the opportunity to train with and support the Gibraltar Ambulance Service, for the benefit of the community.”
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) despatched a number of care boxes to British Forces Gibraltar.
This was in recognition of the support BFG had provided the wider Gibraltar community in the COVID-19 crisis.
The team, using their training, experience and adaptability, provided support in a variety of roles; from provision of specialist advice and mentoring to develop crisis management systems, command and control; subject matter expertise in the design and development of a Nightingale temporary hospital facility, specialist manpower to undertake swabbing of COVID-19 patients at a mobile testing facility and additional resilience for the Gibraltar Ambulance Service.
Personnel were delighted to receive the RNRMC care boxes. Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) Medical Assistant (MA) Hemmings stated: “I am personally very proud of the RN medical team who, in challenging circumstances, have used their collective military medical experience and training to support the population of Gibraltar. The RNRMC care box is a very welcome gesture of recognition for their efforts and deeply appreciated.”