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USAF Celebrates work of RAF Squadron Leader Jerry Neild
Neild, a primary advisor to the 48th Fighter Wing commander at RAF Lakenheath since 2007, retires this year
US Air Force personnel at RAF Lakenheath celebrated the work of RAF Squadron Leader Jerry Neild earlier this week. Mr Neild, who has been the primary advisor to the 48th Fighter Wing commander at RAF Lakenheath on all matters connected to the RAF, the MoD and UK defence policies since 2007, is retiring this year.
Marking Neild's 43 years of service to the RAF, Colonel William Marshall and his wife Lt. Col. Heather Marshall of the US Air Force presented Mr Neild and his wife, Ruth, with tokens of appreciation. Col. Marshall said that "Jerry has been a tremendous asset to the 48th Fighter Wing ... It’s because of Team Neild that we have been successful in providing worldwide responsive combat airpower and support to our allies and partners. He and Ruth will be deeply missed."
Marshall also delivered a special acknowledgement on behalf of the RAF: "Whilst this event is a 48th Fighter Wing lead, it would be remiss of the Royal Air Force to let this milestone pass without comment on one of its own. To say thank you to an officer whose career has spanned some 43 years, has seen him touch many areas of the RAF and in doing so contribute across a broad spectrum of its capability; recruiting, training, defense engagement, NATO and of course operations. The latter including Northern Ireland, the Gulf War, Operation Southern Watch and the Balkans. Jerry, on behalf of the Royal Air Force, thanks to both you and Ruth for everything you have done as part of the RAF family and we wish you every happiness in your retirement together. Per Ardua ad Astra."
At the event, Neild explained "It’s been a pleasure to face the challenges alongside professional Airmen and their families, all of whom strive daily to make the 48th Fighter Wing and RAF Lakenheath an ever more effective instrument of air power ... Ruth and I will miss the Wing, its personnel, both service and civilian, and look forward to hearing of its success in the future as a fifth-generation base supporting a fifth-generation aircraft alongside the RAF. Now is the time after nearly 44 years to go graze with the other dinosaurs, but Ruth and I look forward to speaking to Lakenheath controllers whenever transiting the local airspace in our own aircraft. To quote the title of the fourth volume of Douglas Adams' trilogy, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 'So Long and thanks for all the fish!'”
Neild has been central to supporting the US Air Force in the UK, and as a key figure in this aspect of the Special Relationship, we at The American magazine thank him for his service and wish him a happy retirement!