Exmouth servicewoman in Iraq ceremony

AN RAF technician from Exmouth was chosen out of thousands of service people to mark the end of nearly two decades of combat patrols over Iraq,

AN RAF technician from Exmouth was chosen out of thousands of service people to mark the end of nearly two decades of combat patrols over Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Corporal Flo Dent, 29, is soon returning home after returning a four-month stint in the Gulf.

And she says the highlight of her time there was being chosen to lower the RAF ensign at the parade in May, to mark the end of 18 years of continuous RAF combat operations over Iraq following the first Gulf War in 1991.

A former Community College student, Cpl. Dent, 29, served as an IT support technician with 901 Expeditionary Air Wing in the Middle East, the home of the huge RAF Hercules transport aircraft.


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Flo, who still has strong connections to Exmouth with her mum and dad, living in Lympstone and in Woodbury Salterton respectively, was tasked with maintaining the computer systems of reconnaissance aircraft vital to the war effort in Afghanistan.

Flo joined the RAF in 2000 and is normally stationed at Headquarters Air Command in High Wycombe.

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This was her second operational deployment having previously served elsewhere in the Middle East in 2003.

She said: "Communications are essential to support operations so you are put under a lot of pressure when communications are not working.

"It is very satisfying when you get things working again."

She said the high point was being selected to lower the RAF ensign - the ceremony, took place at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra.

"I felt privileged to do that - it was a memorable occasion. The whole of 901 EAW and 83 EAG were on parade with high ranking American Officers.

"It was quite daunting. It was blowing a gale so I thought the flag was going to blow away!"

Flo's partner Geoff is also in the RAF and is currently serving in Afghanistan, and she said she looking forward to coming home: "Going home back to a normal way of life, seeing Geoff when he gets home and seeing friends and family back in Exmouth."

ENDS

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