Airman Thomas lands honour

Star: Thomas Whittam with the Rothschild Trophy for top RAF recruit in protection training
Star: Thomas Whittam with the Rothschild Trophy for top RAF recruit in protection training

A man from Garstang has won a top honour as he graduated from the first stage of Royal Air Force training.

Thomas Whittam, 24, from Dimples Lane, became one of the newest airmen in the RAF as he graduated from basic training.

Marching on to the parade square, Thomas was one of 58 new airmen to graduate in front of friends and family having successfully completed nine weeks of intensive basic training at RAF Halton near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

The training at RAF Halton is designed to take the new recruit and transform him into an airman fit for operations by laying in place the foundation stones they will build on throughout their career.

Not only did Thomas successfully complete the course, he was awarded the Rothschild Trophy which is presented to the recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in initial force protection training.

Thomas said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my nine weeks training here at Recruit Training Squadron.

“I have learned so much and met so many people. The highlight of my time here has been learning how to handle weapons during the Initial Force Protection Training but I have benefited enormously from the physical training elements.

“I was overjoyed to have won this award and I look forward now to starting the next stage of my professional training with the Royal Air Force”.

Thomas, who was a customer service engineer for Open Reach prior to joining the RAF will now continue his professional training as an Information and Communication Technology Technician.

Squadron Leader Joe Duhan, Officer Commanding Recruit Training Squadron, said: “success in basic training requires mental, physical and emotional strength, because the course is far from easy, and a great sense of achievement is felt by all. 

“He is more than ready to start the next phase of his career and build on what he has achieved already.”