RAF unit’s fury at being left out of Afghan rescue mission: Top commander is blasted in letter from 63 non-commissioned officers telling him he had ‘no clue’ how to use the regiment
- RAF head and Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston was accused of damaging morale
- Attack came in letter signed by 63 non-commissioned officers in No 1 Squadron
- It describes failure to use RAF Regiment in Afghanistan as an ’embarrassment’
- It said it was proof Sir Mike Wigston had ‘no clue’ how to use the RAF Regiment
One of Britain’s most senior defence chiefs has been criticised by his own troops for failing to use a specialist RAF unit in the evacuation of British nationals from Afghanistan.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF, has been accused of damaging morale and showing a lack of moral courage by members of the RAF Regiment.
The attack came in a letter signed by 63 senior and junior non-commissioned officers serving in the regiment’s No 1 Squadron based at RAF Honington in Suffolk.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston (pictured), the head of the RAF, has been accused of damaging morale and showing a lack of moral courage by members of the RAF Regiment
It describes the failure to use the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan as an ’embarrassment’ and proof that Air Chief Marshal Wigston had ‘no clue’ how to use the RAF Regiment, comprising 1,800 men and women across seven squadrons, properly.
One of the squadrons is trained in parachuting and another has a specialist chemical, biological and nuclear warfare capability – but the regiment’s primary role is to provide protection for aircraft and airfields in hostile environments.
Referring to the decision not to send the regiment to Afghanistan and a sense of being overlooked for other missions worldwide, the 2,000-word letter says: ‘There is clearly no voice… that has the moral courage to fight for the viability and survival of the RAF Regiment and the gulf between the troops on the shop floor and the commissioned ranks has never been greater.
‘This is just another failing in a long list of issues currently facing the RAF Regiment and its inability to maintain its own standards and relevance.’
The attack against Sir Wigston (pictured) came in a letter signed by 63 senior and junior non-commissioned officers in the regiment’s No 1 Squadron based at RAF Honington in Suffolk
The author, whose identity is not known, adds: ‘It is very clear we work for a risk-averse organisation.
‘The management from the top is one of self-preservation, over actual deliverables and doing what is best for the Corps and wider Air Force.’
The letter goes on to say that the failure to deploy the unit ‘has caused a great deal of upset’.
Last night the Ministry of Defence said it ‘deploys the appropriate unit to each operation dependent on a number of factors including readiness, capability, the required task… and current commitments’.