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GDF DEDICATES AIR CORPS HQ IN HONOUR OF LT COL (Ret’d) LAWRENCE LONDON

The Guyana Defence Force renamed and dedicated its Air Corps headquarters in honour of Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Lawrence Hillary London on Friday, November 8, 2013. The headquarters will now be known as AIR STATION LONDON.

Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, former Chiefs of Staff, Major General Norman McLean; Brigadier General Edward Collins; Rear Admiral Gary Best; senior serving GDF Officers and a number of special invitees, welcomed and hosted Lt Col (ret’d) ‘Larry’ London and members of his family, at the dedication ceremony.

The COS acknowledged and thanked Lt Col (ret’d) London for his sterling service to the GDF and for dedicating his energies to building and strengthening the Air Corps during his tenure there. He also recounted London’s accomplishments within the GDF as both an avid sportsman and sports administrator.

In his reflections, Lt (ret’d) Col London, recounted his beginnings as an aviator and subsequent Commanding Officer of the GDF Air Corps. “My life changed on October 20, 1970, when ten young, energetic, fearless men left Guyana to pursue a career in Aviation. We were the second batch of Guyanese to attend the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to train for the US commercial pilots license,” he said. “I was already selected for the GDF’s Standard Officers Course and understood then, that on my completion of flight training, it would have been life in the army.”

Speaking to his overall military experience, London said that his richest experiences from an Officer Cadet, through to Commanding Officer, were embedded in his interactions with the soldiers and a military culture which was rooted in “very informed Non-Commissioned Officers. That rich experience and knowledge was also provided by a group of Officers who were technically superb and dedicated,” he recounted

Lt Col (ret’d) London thanked Rear Admiral Best, Brigadier Phillips and the leadership of the GDF who thought it appropriate to recognise his contributions to Air Corps in that manner. He also expressed thanks to the Secretary of the Defence Board. “While this facility now carries my name, it is also an acknowledgement of these men and women with whom I served,” he said. Acknowledging all the close and very meaningful friendships which aided in moulding and developing his career, London said, “I accept this tribute in the name of all of those with whom I got the honour to serve. To the members of Air Corps, you have something to remind you that I will always be a member of this Corps. I expect that this Corps remains professional and continues to produce men and women who become role models and leaders in this nation. Remember, the sky is no longer the limit. Space is now our new final frontier.”

A native of New Amsterdam, Berbice, Lt Colonel ‘Larry’ London attended the Victoria High School, excelled in Track and Field and also captained the Berbice Under-17 Football Team. His military career spanned some 20-odd years. He was trained in the USA, UK, France and the USSR and gained both the Commercial ‘Fixed Wing” and Commercial Rotorcraft Pilot’s Licenses with Instrument and Instructor Ratings. Some of the appointments held in the GDF Air Corps were as Officer Commanding (OC) Fixed Wing, Chief Pilot, and Training Pilot, and as, Commanding Officer from 1979-1987. During his service, he played a pivotal role in the selection of students for training as pilots and aviation engineers. He holds a BSc (Professional Aeronautics) and an MSc (Aviation Management) both from the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, He is married to Donna London and the father of six.

AIR STATION LONDON is a military facility located at Timerhi, within the environs of the Cheddi Jagan international airport.