In Memory Of...

Senior Aircraftsman Graham Livingstone

of the Royal Air Force Regiment

    On Sunday, 13th April, 2008 Graham Livingstone  and Gary Thompson were undertaking a patrol with the Support Weapons Flight of 3 Squadron RAF Regiment to protect NATO's Kandahar Airfield from enemy attack in the Daman District of Kandahar province. At 6.48pm local time, the vehicle that they were travelling in was caught in an explosion. Both Graham Livingstone and Gary Thompson were severely wounded and extracted to the field hospital at Kandahar Airfield, but sadly died as a result of their wounds.

    Two other servicemen were injured in the blast, however their injuries are not life threatening and one has subsequently returned to duty.

    Graham 'Livi' Livingstone  was a Senior Aircraftsman serving with the Royal Air force Regiment.

    Senior Aircraftman Graham Keter Livingstone, aged 23, was born on 17 November 1984 in Glasgow. He initially joined the Royal Marines for a short period in 2003, before joining the Royal Air Force on 17 October 2004.

    After completion of his basic training, SAC Livingstone became a trainee gunner on 13 December 2004. He was posted onto 3 Squadron RAF Regiment at Aldergrove on 4 March 2005, and moved with the Squadron when they were relocated to RAF Wittering in the spring of 2007. He was promoted to Senior Aircraftman on 17 October 2005 and whilst with 3 Squadron he served in Iraq in 2006 and deployed to Afghanistan on 22 February 2008.

SAC Livingstone's mother, Rosemary O'Neil, said:

   "Graham was a much loved father, son and brother. He died doing a job he loved. As a family we are very proud and he will be sadly missed."

Officer Commanding 3 Squadron RAF Regiment, Squadron Leader Richard Langley said:

   "Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingstone was 23 years old, from Strathclyde, Scotland. Better known to the Squadron as "Livi", he was one of the brightest characters on the Squadron. Having served in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, he was a very operationally experienced gunner, and his professionalism showed in all that he did. Always with a smile, a throw away line and a gag, Livi's humour was at the heart of Support Weapons Flight. He was one of us and his loss has been deeply felt by us all.

   "The loss of "Tommo" and "Livi" is a tragic blow to all who knew, trained and fought alongside them. Both men were immensely popular and professional, and the humour both brought to the Squadron was immeasurable. "Tommo" and "Livi" will be terribly missed by their colleagues in the RAF Regiment here in Kandahar, but also in Basra and in the UK. We will honour their memory by standing resolute in our duty to Afghanistan in the manner they embodied with determination and pride. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends at this tragic time."

Commanding Officer 1 RAF Force Protection Wing, Wing Commander Scott Miller said:

   "SAC Graham Livingstone was an immensely popular member of Support Weapons Flight on 3 Squadron RAF Regiment. His fine sense of humour and positive character played a key role in maintaining the morale of his colleagues whilst facing the dangerous and challenging, but vital mission in defence of Kandahar Airfield. Graham was the sort of Gunner who, with high professional skill and deep determination, sought to keep others safe, irrespective of the personal cost. He invariably put the needs of his friends and colleagues first. He will be sorely missed.

Commander Kandahar Airfield, Air Commodore Bob Judson said:

   "Both SAC Graham Livingstone and SAC Gary Thompson were bright lights in a vibrant and enthusiastic RAF Regiment Squadron that is utterly focused and professional in discharging the difficult and dangerous task of providing the outer layer of protection and security at Kandahar Airfield. These two enthusiastic, brave, popular and capable men have made the ultimate sacrifice whilst giving their best; their loss will be keenly felt by all on this base but most especially the members of No 1 Force Protection Wing and No 3 Squadron RAF Regiment. The bright lights may have been dimmed but they will never be forgotten and my thoughts are very much with both Gary's and Graham's families at this most difficult of times."

   "Graham Livingstone and Gary Thompson became Royal Air Force Regiment Gunners and to the end they were the true spirit of an RAF Regiment Gunner they were Fighting, Thinking, Winning Gunners. They were a sure defence to all they served."

Officer Commanding Support Weapons Flight, 3 Sqn RAF Regiment, Flight Lieutenant Andy  Costin said:

   "Graham 'Livi' Livingstone was a cheeky Gunner who could always quip with a remark. He excelled as a Number 1 on my Mortar Flight. Our standing joke on the Support Weapons Flight was that he was always to be last in charge. The challenge for me as his flight commander was to make use of his abundant enthusiasm and steer it in the best possible direction. He found that direction as my Signaller, always performing his duties to the utmost. Livi is going to be sorely missed upon the Flight and the Squadron.

Squadron Warrant Officer, No 3 Squadron RAF Regiment, Warrant Officer Garry Eden said:

   "Graham Livingstone and Gary Thompson became Royal Air Force Regiment Gunners and to the end they were the true spirit of an RAF Regiment Gunner they were Fighting, Thinking, Winning Gunners. They were a sure defence to all they served."

Tributes to Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingstone from the Lads of Support Weapons Flight, 3 Squadron RAF Regiment:

   "Livi was an avid Celtic supporter from the outskirts of Glasgow. A keen driver and amateur DJ, he joined the RAF Regiment at the age of 20 and was posted to 3 Sqn. He was employed on C Flight where he soon proved himself to be an accomplished marksman, selected to be a sharpshooter, he took pride in his ability to master weapon systems. He then went on to Support Weapons Flt where he quickly found he had a skill for the 81mm Mortar, achieving excellent results on his Basic Mortar Cadre; he was quickly elevated to the No 1 position of number 2 Det, it was clear he had found his place. Livi was employed as the Flight Commander's signaller and was responsible for the communications on three different operating systems keeping the Flight Commander current and situationally aware.

   "Graham leaves behind Kyle his young son. Never shy to speak his mind, Livi was adept at throw away statements. His fervent willingness to improve himself, be an asset to his flight and to keep the morale of the troops up, even at his own expense, will be sorely missed. And for us all, never again to say, 'SHUT UP LIVI.'"





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