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The students form the parade
Lieutenant Nicola Williams
Leading Aircrewman Jonathon Holding


Published: 24 Sep 2016

After 18 months of hard work and determination ,three Pilots, five Observers and one Aircrewman from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose were awarded with their ‘Flying Wings’.


The formal ceremony, which marks the official start of a flying career within the Fleet Air Arm, was performed in the hangar of 824 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and was proudly attended by the graduates families, friends and senior officers from the Royal Navy.


The students can now be deployed to safeguard the UK’s interests worldwide, and they must be ready to conduct aviation in all weather and in potentially hostile environments.


Commodore Jerry Kyd, who will be the Captain of the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH carrier, was the guest of honour at the parade. He addressed the students after he had presented them with their ‘Wings’ and said:


RNAS Culdrose is the home of carrier aviation. It is a seminal, profound and hugely exciting period to be in the Royal Navy, and you will become the centre piece for defence. It is now your turn to stand out of the shadow of the great people who have come before you. Remember your training, it divines what you are and what you can be”.


History was also made at the parade with Leading Aircrewman Jonathon Holding being the first student to pass out after direct entry into the Fleet Air Arm. His family were there to support him on the day and were extremely proud of his accomplishment. Also present was Lieutenant Nicola Williams, the only female officer to receive her Wings at the ceremony. She said:


The course was really detailed and very challenging. I am really looking forward to working on the front line. It feels brilliant to finally get here - this has been my goal from day one, and I am so so happy”.


Commanding Officer of 824 NAS Ian Fraser was delighted his squadron could host the parade. He summed up the significance of their achievements, and the challenge of their roles ahead:


Today marks your transition from being students to the front line, and for the squadron it highlights the efforts of the trainers as well. The British public expects you to succeed, we expect you to succeed, and we know each and every one of you will rise to the challenge”. 


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