Prince Philip got stuck in on a visit to Wattisham Airfield, a key army base in Suffolk, on Thursday 9th October as he was treated to a full guided tour and even climbed aboard an Apache helicopter, the Army’s flagship aircraft.
The Duke of Edinburgh was welcomed to the airfield near Stowmarket where he got the chance to speak with serving recruits, their families and even some local schoolchildren from the nearby primary school.
On the solo engagement, Prince Philip was shown some of the base’s range of vehicles including the Apache, the Watchkeeper drone and the Foxhound protected patrol vehicle. His Royal Highness was also informed about the rocket-propelled Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project, which aims to reach a very ambitious and record-breaking 1,000 mph.
Corporal Jordan Bridges spoke of the visit, “Prince Philip was very interested and said it was great to know that Bloodhound and REME soldiers were helping to make school science lessons more exciting.” REME is the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of which The Duke of Edinburgh is Colonel in Chief.
The children of local Ringshall School were presented with models of the super sonic car after they took part in a project to build balloon powered cars inspired by the Bloodhound. Corporal Bridges continued, “This was the first time I’ve worked with children and I really enjoyed the experience. I was surprised by the level of understanding they had of the problems they encountered, for example friction in the wheels and how to reduce it.”
Lieutenant Colonel David Batty, commanding officer of 7 Air Assault Bn REME, summed up the Duke’s visit, “The visit has been a great honour for the battalion. It has allowed the Duke to meet our soldiers and learn about every aspect of the unit’s life, from supporting frontline operations in Afghanistan to working with local schools to promote science and technology.”
Prince Philip also took the time to meet with soldiers families at an activity day put on by the units welfare team.