New engineer in charge at 824NAS
One of the most prized jobs for a Naval Air Engineering Warrant Officer has to be a busy Naval Air Squadron that has just received a batch of New Helicopters.
Warrant Officer 2 Air Engineering Technician George Edwards has been appointed as Senior Maintenance Rating (SMR) for 824 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall. As SMR, George is responsible for the engineering practices and procedures that maintain the squadron’s aircraft airworthiness, ensuring maximum aircraft availability for the brand new Merlin 2 training Unit. “It’s important on a training squadron that all Air Engineering Technicians (AET’s) at all levels are exposed to and adopt correct working practices. Frontline flights and squadrons rely on us to turn out capable people who can operate safely in some very challenging circumstances.”
George joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1987 and after Artificer training at HMS Daedalus in Hampshire joined the Navy’s Harrier force at RNAS Yeovilton, working on the Sea Harrier FS1 with 899 and 801 NAS on HMS Ark Royal. Staying with the Navy’s seaborne Jet Fighters he swiftly achieved his certificate of competence to supervise aircraft maintenance and was promotion to Petty Officer in 1992. Spells with the Mobile Aircraft Support Unit and Sea King Modification team followed before promotion to Chief Petty Officer and a return to Sea Harriers.
With the demise of the Harrier Force, George moved across to the Lynx community serving on 815 NAS at Yeovilton, where one of the highlights was deploying on Operation Telic with HMS Cornwall to the Gulf for seven months. In 2009, as the Senior Course Warrant Officer he returned to the training world at HMS Sultan, once again in thePortsmoutharea at the Royal Navy’s largest engineering training Base. Finally in 2011 he took up a position on the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training, (FOST) in Devonport as the lead Air Engineer within the Aviation department responsible for training of embarked flight deck personnel on HM Ships.
Now at RNAS Culdrose as the SMR of 824 NAS, WO 2 AET George Edwards is enthusiastic to get on with the challenges that lay ahead. “Having provided training and witnessed the professionalism of Merlin personnel at sea during my time at FOST I look forward to being part of the team that prepares them for their role at sea.”