Two RAF officers will wear the new Altberg Delta Tabbing Boot for a 100km Remembrance charity march while carrying 30kg along the Normandy D-Day beaches later this year.
Flight Lieutenant Ben Parkin and Flight Lieutenant Rich ‘Stan’ Stanley aim to complete the route in just 24 hours.
They aim to complete the march on June 6 this year — 77 years to the day after the famous beach landings.
30kg has been chosen as it was the average weight carried by troops on D-Day.
The officers will be wearing Altberg’s new Delta Tabbing Boot MK2 for the challenge.
Flt Lt Parkin, operations officer on the UK Air Support Operations Sqn (UK ASOS), based at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, said: “Altberg were the first company I thought of, and approached, as a sponsor to this event as I have used their boots throughout my military career and they have always proved to be of the best quality and fit.
“I knew they made a lightweight tabbing boot that would be ideal for such a test that we have set ourselves, and through Altberg senior bootmaker has agreed to provide us with the new Delta MK2 to put through its paces and carry us the 100kms and through build up training.”
The airmen say they have been asked why two RAF officers are doing an event in a historical setting which most see as an Army/Navy collaboration.
“The answer to this, aside from the fact that the second in command of D-Day was an RAF officer, is that there were RAF personnel landing across all the beaches in the first waves to provide forward air control of aircraft supporting the ground units.
“The RAF Beach Support Squadron’s Blue Commandos were born especially for this role and it is these men we want to pay tribute to during this event.”
Flt Lt Parkin, 43, added: “The planned route begins at the Utah Beach museum, heads inland to pass through the areas of Ste Mere Eglise and Carentan which feature in the Band of Brothers Series, then up to Pointe du Hoc where we will follow the coastline through the Omaha Beach area to Arromanches, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches.
“We will then cut inland to finish at Pegasus Bridge in the Ouistreham area.
“The distance isn’t too daunting for us, it’s the weight element that our training so far has highlighted will make for extra pain along the way."
Altberg’s association with the military goes back a long time.
It was in the 1990s that the company first sponsored a group of airmen from the RAF, who were at the time based in Leeming near the Altberg factory in Richmond.
The boots were used in the Peacekeeper Challenge Cup in America and the Altberg senior bootmaker still has a photograph of the team in his office.
“They were a great bunch of lads and the Peacekeeper made for the airmen is today one of our best selling police boots,” the bootmaker said.
The pair are taking on the challenge to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
To sponsor the RAF officer’s challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-stanley7?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=richard-stanley7&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=c0c908c7321a485a9ed1c9f017d988cb
For more details on the boots they will be wearing during the challenge, click https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/lightweight-tabbing-boots16