Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Duchess of Cornwall visited Royal Air Force (RAF) Halton and whilst there, officially opened the new youth activities centre.
HRH holds the position of Honorary Air Commodore RAF Halton and last visited the station in May 2017 when HRH presented the new Colours. With the newly refurbished youth activities centre now complete, the station was delighted that HRH was able to formally open it during her visit. Whilst visiting, HRH was able to meet more than 100 military personnel and children.
The new youth activities centre was only possible thanks to the generous donation by the RAF Benevolent Fund. Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Chief Executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "This project gets to the very heart of the RAF Benevolent Fund's mission – supporting the RAF Family. We hope this facility will provide a space for all the young people connected to RAF Halton to join in activities tailored especially for them."
During the visit to RAF Halton, HRH had the pleasure of viewing reconstructed World War I Trenches, known as the Lister Lines. The trenches were discovered in 2009 and were reconstructed using World War I field engineering manuals. It is believed that the trenches were originally constructed in 1915 and over 7 miles were built to simulate a stretch of the Western Front.
Following the visit to the trenches, HRH visited Initial Force Protection Training who are responsible for delivering the fundamental training required for all airmen to survive and operate in an austere and hostile environment. During this stage of the visit, HRH was able to observe an interactive weapons handling class and was able to speak to several recruits about their experiences at RAF Halton.
HRH then moved to the final event of the visit, the youth activities centre. Whilst there, HRH greeted many of the military families children who will be using the new facility. The children were seen playing table tennis with HRH joining in for a brief game, before moving on to sign the station visitors' book. HRH then concluded the visit by formally unveiling the youth activities centre plaque, officially opening the centre for use.
Group Captain Katherine Wilson OBE, Station Commander at RAF Halton said: "It is an honour and privilege to be the Station Commander of RAF Halton and welcoming HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to visit our Station. Our personnel work tirelessly throughout the year and it is wonderful to be given the opportunity to display the incredible work they do, made all the more special as we celebrate RAF Halton's Centenary."