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L-R  AETs David Cantwell, Rhys Culley-Lightfoot, Ashleigh Owens, Alexander Cannell, AET Liam Finniga
AET Eve Jackson and AET Clare Edward


Published: 06 Aug 2015

TALENTED young Air Engineering Technicians (AETs) celebrated successful completion of their Phase 2b training last week at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton as part of their 55 week long training programme to equip them as fully qualified Royal Navy aircraft maintainers.


Commander (Cdr) Jo Deakin, Commanding Officer of the Air Engineering Department (AED), extended a warm welcome to all present and congratulated the 37 AET’s on their achievement and thanked their families for all their support in getting the students to this point in their careers.


During the Phase 2b course, trainees undergo 8 weeks of intense classroom instruction on mechanical and avionic systems, common practices and documentation processes for helicopters. The remaining time is spent on a training squadron where they are introduced to helicopter operations and maintenance practices.


Commodore (Cdre) Andy Lison presented the AET’s with their certificates and welcomed the newly qualified Engineers and their families. Cdr Lison said;


            “Training is a Royal Navy priority and thank you to the staff, trainers and families for your support.”


Addressing the newly qualified AET’s Cdr Lison continued:


            “Seize the opportunity and try to learn something new everyday. Really well done, you have now joined a very special club, the Fleet Air Arm. Do not be held back, now is the start of your career and you can realise your ambition.”


Amongst the trainees were individuals recognised for their outstanding qualities, abilities and attitude.


AET Ashleigh Owens (23), Lynx Academic Award winner said:


            “I tried really hard and averaged over 90%.  I’m really happy to receive this award and to be recognised for all my hard work”.


AET Alexander Cannell (26) winner of the Wildcat Academic Award said:


            “Adjusting to military life and revising has been hard but receiving this award makes it all worthwhile.”


This course also included 16 AETs in the final Sea King course before the Sea King is decommissioned in 2016.


AET Tom Bond (20), Sea King Academic Award winner, said;


            “Thank you to the staff for their support and assistance in helping me achieve this award. I am very proud but it has also been very hard - there is so much to learn.”


Tom achieved a 99% pass rate – the highest of any Phase 2b AET in the Sea King’s history.


AET Luke Cooper (22) who received the Sea King Ethos Award for his spirit, loyalty, respect, sense of humour and determination during training. Luke’s Grandfather and father had both served in the Royal Navy and Luke said:


            “I am privileged and proud to receive this award.”


Luke’s  Mother, present at the ceremony to see him not only qualify but also receive the Sea King Ethos Award added


            “I am extremely proud that Luke has chosen to follow his family history and serve the country.”


This course of also saw AET Eve Jackson (19) and AET Claire Edward (22) qualify.  Both said they were;


            “Very relieved and proud to qualify, pleased to be treated just like one of the lads”.


Through ups and downs, but mostly ups, this ceremony marks the culmination of this phase of their training and the beginning of their careers in the Royal Navy.


On completion of the parade the 37 newly qualified, smiling and proud AET’s, their families, military instructors and industry guests celebrated their success and achievements over lunch. 


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