of an 'OB' Era
Friday 16th December 2006 will be earmarked as a significant
and poignant date in Wiltshire's premier airbase archives,
already streamed with history and events. It will be noted
as the day in which the 'OB'
Era had to finally end. Group
Captain Paul Oborn,
affectionately nicknamed 'OB' said his final farewell to
the station that has become an integral part of his life
and illustrious career as a Hercules pilot in the Royal Air
His career began as a co-pilot on 30 Sqn in 1981, and after
many tours in and out of Lyneham he returned to his roots
to become the Station Commander on the 19th December 2003
taking over from outgoing Group Captain Lock.
Group Captain Paul Oborn's twenty four month tour has been
saddened by the tragic Hercules accident, in which eight of
his airmen died after the aircraft was shot down in Iraq during
the country's elections for peace on the 30th January 2005.
It was a deeply heart-rending moment for the station boss and
he often reflected on the crew as 'truly one of the best' and
great comfort was given when findings of the MoD Inquiry into
the accident, this month totally exonerated the crew of blame.
On a chilly December 16th morning Group Captain Oborn and
the incoming Station Commander, Group
Captain Atherton flew together and shook hands in the air
before returning to hard ground to attend a champagne reception
with all the station executives in the VIP Lounge.
The traditional handing over of the realm as station commander
to Wiltshire's busiest airbase, was marked as the commander's
baton was passed to the station commander designate, Group
Captain Oborn made a short speech thanking all the executives
for their hard work and dedication, on what has been an eventful
two years in post.
The time had come for 'OB' to be escorted off the unit in
true military fashion, an emotional time and there was a definite
tear in his eye as he stopped along the main station driveway,
to say goodbye to the Military and Civilian personnel that
have come to admire and respect him so much.
The station executives stood outside the Air Terminal Building
and waved goodbye while the Station Warrant Officer decided
it was time to go and search for the new Station Commander.
Group Captain Oborn, departing
Station Commander said: “I have enjoyed my time here
immensely and it is with much regret that I move on. Lyneham
has never been busier than it is now but, in spite of this,
Lyneham personnel constantly surprise me, not just with their
dedication and hard work to their primary tasks in support
of our mission, but also with the energy and time they give
to our community."
" It has been a great privilege to have served as Station
Commander here at RAF Lyneham and the hard work and resolve
of everyone in all that we have faced has been fantastic.”
Group Captain Oborn has been posted to the Royal College of
The Lyneham community have been touched by the manner in which
Group Captain Paul Oborn displayed day-in and day-out exemplary
leadership qualities during his tour, especially bringing the
station and local area together while we all mourned the loss
of the Hilton 22 crew in January this year. His sense of
duty, devotion, impeccable leadership, acceptability to difficult
scenarios will be sorely missed in the local community. He
has been described as a true professional and gentleman. Good
luck 'OB' and a special thank you for your efforts within Team
Lyneham and the local community.