The hanger opening marked the conclusion of a two-and-a-half-year project which was led by Officer Commanding for JSATC (Cy), Major Billy Young – who was promoted from captain by CBF during the opening ceremony.
The €700,000 project, which was built by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, now gives the Parachute Wing an outstanding facility that can easily support the needs of not only the Army Parachute Display Teams that use the facility annually but also the local Cypriot community too.
Speaking at the opening, Maj Young revealed his pride at seeing the hanger now open, he said: “It feels fantastic and to have been here from start to finish, it is just great.
“The biggest thing this new hanger adds is security, we have a million pounds’ worth of new plane, but we didn’t have anywhere to secure it and that is why we needed it built quickly.
“The money came from the Army Central Fund and DIO, Interserve and CSP were the leads behind that and despite the challenges, we got there in the end and I could not be happier.”
And in looking at the future for the Parachute Wing, he continued: “We have the Parachute Display Teams out here regularly now, we also have a new plane with a larger capacity to accommodate that training and we also have the local community that are now able to use an even bigger and better club here in Dhekelia, so things are in a really good place.
“We have a great team and fantastic facilities to go with that and I could not be any happier.”
CBF, Maj Gen Illingworth, who cut the opening ribbon alongside Tom Wishart from DIO, expressed his delight at seeing the new hanger open and operational.
He said: “There is a real sense of development and challenge and excitement here and pushing yourself to the limits like you do is not something that everyone else does regularly.
“The hanger is an extraordinary achievement and I commend everybody that has been involved on the ground and getting things done. It is a fantastic building, it is just what we need to meet the requirement of the parachuting teams that can now jump 27 times in a day.
“This is the coming together of all of that hard work and I commend the great work of the team for making sure that all of this has been achieved.”