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  • Christina Drummond

Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012 Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan. He was taking part in a partnered patrol in the western Dashte area in central Helmand province when he was fatally wounded by small arms fire from an insurgent attack. Although evacuated by air to the field hospital at Camp Bastion, he could not be saved.

He had joined the RAF at the age of eighteen in 2008, and completed the Phase One Field Gunners Course the following year, before beginning pre-deployment training. He spent his first tour of Afghanistan as a specialist driver on a Rifle Flight defending Kandahar Airfield. On his second tour to Afghanistan he deployed with No 3 RAF Force Protection Wing at Camp Bastion. He is remembered as a highly professional and skilful gunner who showed great potential; his comrades spoke of his cheeky grin, sense of humour, and his all-round enthusiasm.

Flight Lieutenant David Martin said of him: "Professional, experienced and extremely popular, Senior Aircraftman Tomlin was one of the best gunners in 2 Squadron. He excelled at everything he did and he epitomised the Royal Air Force Regiment spirit in every way. He was hugely respected by his peers and he frequently mentored the younger members of the squadron. He was depended upon time and again to provide vital surveillance and reconnaissance and long range fire support to his colleagues when needed. Indeed, I witnessed at first hand his quick thinking and calm professional manner during a meeting with village elders when he and his colleagues successfully fought off an insurgent attack. He loved his job, he was a pleasure to command, and I am honoured to have known him. Nunquam Non Paratus."

Ryan, from Hemel Hempstead, was 21 years old.

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