A ROYAL Air Force squadron based in the region has been awarded a trophy.

34 Squadron RAF Regiment, based at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, has won the Higginson Trophy, an award presented each year to the most outstanding regiment.

The trophy was presented by Air Commodore Peter Drissell, the commandant general of the RAF Regiment, earlier this week.

To win the prize, a squadron must have shown exceptional leadership, outstanding professionalism and sustained endeavour on operations and exercises. It must also have displayed support and commitment to the local community.

In the past year, the squadron has spent a month in the jungles of Belize and conducted a four-month tour of duty in Iraq.

As part of their role in Basra, members of 34 Squadron worked to help rebuild the lives of local people.

Airmen took part in schemes to rebuild vital roads and renovate a medical centre.

Squadron Leader Mick Smeath said: "As the squadron commander, this has got to be the pinnacle of my time on the squadron. It is recognition of everything the guys have achieved - and they have achieved much. For the lads, it means a lot, because they know their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

"Having had such a busy year, all members of the squadron are extremely pleased by the award of the trophy."