Group captain leaves at RAF Halton to the sound of bagpipes

Group Captain Harper hands over command to Group Captain Burns
Group Captain Harper hands over command to Group Captain Burns

The man who has been responsible for the smooth running of RAF Halton has handed over to a new group commander.

Group Captain Simon Harper has left his post after 21 months to take up a role in London at the Royal College of Defence Studies. Group Captain Adrian Burns will now fill his shoes.

He said: “As I hand over command of RAF Halton to Group Captain Adrian Burns, I do so with a genuine sense of sadness and a huge sense of pride.

“I feel sadness at the prospect of leaving such a remarkable RAF station that unquestionably has a reputation across the RAF and defence for delivering world-class training, and pride at the opportunity I have had to work with such exceptionally talented, enthusiastic and committed individuals.

“It is clear to me that they are the critical element that makes RAF Halton special.

“It has been a great privilege to be station commander and a great honour to command RAF Halton.”

He told the gathering: “You have welcomed me and Carolyn with open arms and provided me with exceptional support over the last 21 months.

“Simply put, you have made my role as station commander very easy and for that I will always be grateful.”

On his last day Group Captain Harper left his office to the sound of bagpipes, escorted by senior officers.

A large crowd of military personnel and civilians followed him to his car where station warrent officer George Mifsud lead the goodbyes.