Aircraftman George, a two-year-old Golden Guernsey-Boer goat, made his first appearance as the mascot of the Recruit Training Squadron at RAF Halton last week.
Aircraftman George’s debut took place during the parade practice of the No 437 Beckett Intake of the Recruit Training Squadron. It is the first time in 17 years that a squadron mascot has marched onto the parade square at RAF Halton.
The Recruit Training Squadron has adopted George as their mascot and he will feature in future parades and public engagement ceremonies for the station.
Flight Lieutenant Katie Rothwell, Aircraftman George’s Fight Commander, said:
It is a great idea to have George as a symbol for the squadron. He has been selected from a cast of many and will be something the squadron can rally behind to increase esprit de corps among the recruits.
The history behind having goats as mascots at RAF Halton dates back to World War Two when the Royal Welch Fusiliers left their goat Lewis with the RAF Apprentices when they were sent to the front.
The RAF Apprentices adopted the goat and the history continued until 1993 when the last RAF Apprentice graduation parade was conducted.
Aircraftman George was raised at the Bucks Goat Centre. He will have a leading role in future RAF recruit graduation parades and will lead the procession when the station holds its annual parades through local communities.
Squadron Leader Jan De-Vry, Officer Commanding the Recruit Training Squadron, said:
It is important to remember the history behind our station, and with George we will continue those traditions that were forged back then and make history for future generations to look back on.
Aircraftman George will continue to reside at the Bucks Goat Centre in Stoke Mandeville but will make regular trips to the station and into the community.
Lauren Godfrey, the farm manager at the Bucks Goat Centre, said:
We are pleased to have this connection with RAF Halton. George will become a star within the centre and he will assist in building a permanent relationship between us.
I am not surprised that he has fitted in so well as he has been raised around people and was a keen competitor on our animal assault course.