Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some Gave All: Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin

Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

14 Feb 12

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, of 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment who was killed on the 13 February 2012.

SAC Tomlin was taking part in a partnered patrol to reassure and interact with the local population in the Western Dashte area on the edge of Nad-e Ali district in Central Helmand Province when he was fatally wounded by small arms fire from an insurgent attack.He was evacuated by air to the field hospital at Camp Bastion where sadly he succumbed to his wounds.

Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, 21, from Hemel Hempstead was born on 29 May 1990. He joined the Royal Air Force in October 2008, completing his Trainee Gunners Course in April 2009 before moving on to the Phase One Field Gunners Course. He was selected to join 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, based at Royal Air Force Honington, in June 2009.

He arrived at an incredibly busy time for the Squadron and launched straight into Afghanistan pre-deployment training. Ryan completed his first tour in Afghanistan in 2010 as a specialist driver on a rifle flight (the RAF Regiment equivalent of a platoon), defending Kandahar Air Base. After returning from this successful deployment, he showed promise and desire to develop new skills.

He deployed on a second tour to Afghanistan with No. 3 RAF Force Protection Wing at Camp Bastion in October 2011. From the start of the tour, he and his section supported Squadron operations out on the ground around Bastion with great skill and determination, often deploying for several days at a time through the harsh Helmand winter.

A highly professional and skilful gunner who achieved all he set out to do in his three years in the Royal Air Force Regiment, Senior Aircraftman Tomlin became one of the rising stars of his squadron and regiment, and showed great potential for what promised to be the brightest of futures.

He leaves behind his mother and father, Diane and Kevin, and a sister, Michelle. The thoughts of all in 2 Squadron and No. 3 Force Protection Wing are with them at this most difficult of times.

The family of SAC Tomlin said:

“Ryan loved and lived life to the full. He gave his life at a very young age doing the job he loved. Ryan will be sorely missed by his family and friends and everyone who loved him. We will remember his cheeky grin and great sense of humour. Ryan will be forever young and never forgotten. Our true hero and shining star.”

Wing Commander Jason Sutton OBE, Commanding Officer, No. 3 RAF Force Protection Wing, said:

“Senior Aircraftman Tomlin was one of the finest men on my wing and his loss has come as a terrible blow to all of us, especially his comrades on his beloved 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment. Bright, gifted and an absolute master of his craft, he had the complete trust of those who had the privilege of serving alongside him. When the task was hard, he would immediately rise to the challenge. When those around him were weary, he was the one to lift their spirits, and when the enemy threatened, he was the first to be ready to fight. In our grief, we take comfort that he fell doing the job he loved, protecting his mates and the Afghan National Army soldiers we work to support in our shared task of building a better future for Afghanistan.

“Senior Aircraftman Tomlin had the brightest future ahead of him, and his loss has deprived the Royal Air Force Regiment of one ofLink its very best. In continuing our mission here to protect air operations and the people who work at Camp Bastion, we will strive to do justice to the fine example he set. His loss is deeply felt by us all, but our grief can never be deeper than that of Diane and Kevin and their family, with whom our thoughts and prayers are with at this most difficult time. He will never be forgotten. Per Ardua.”...

Go here to learn more about how this young Hero lived.

Always remembered. Always honoured.

No comments: