100th student to graduate from 750 Naval Air Squadron
Today another flock of future flyers were deemed ready for take off as they graduated from training at 750 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) - the Royal Navy’s 'Observer School'.
Today’s was an extra special graduation, celebrating 100 students (both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy) passing out from 750 NAS since the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) construct was introduced seven years ago.
After an intensive course, with training both on the ground and in our flying classrooms, the four members of SOLIC 10 (Senior Operator Lead in Course) graduated from 750 NAS. They leave armed with the core skills they will need to move forward onto their respective Operational Conversation Units within the Royal Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) community based at RAF Waddington.
The eight week course has been challenging – it put the future RAF Weapon System Operators (WSyOps) through their paces with approximately 20 hours airborne in the King Air ‘Avenger’ aircraft and many more in the tactical mission trainer. Initially students are taught how to operate the state-of-the-art mission training system. Then Instructors introduce tactical scenarios, in which students play a central role, involving land based sites and numerous flying assets for them to control.
The training of RAF WSyOps has become a core part of 750 NAS business since the introduction of UKMFTS in 2011. The 100students to have been trained during this period consist of Royal Navy Observers, Royal Navy Aircrewmen and RAF WSyOps. Those already graduated now find themselves frontline, having gained their ‘Flying Wings’ operating Merlin Mk2, Wildcat and Sea King Mk7 for the Royal Navy and Shadow, Rivet Joint, Reaper, Sentry and Sentinel for the RAF.
Being based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, 750 NAS finds itself perfectly positioned to develop and train future aviators, with easy access to the sea surrounding the South West Peninsula to hone maritime skills, but also a relatively uncluttered airspace to develop broader aviation knowledge and awareness. In preparing all students to the highest standard prior to them progressing to a diverse variety of frontline units; 750 NAS is increasingly seen as a Defence Centre of Training Excellence in Maritime Aviation.
Commanding Officer of 750 NAS, Lt Cdr Alasdair Lang said:
“Passing the 100th student here at 750 Naval Air Squadron really is a milestone worth celebrating by all those at Ascent, our training service provider, and our regular Royal Navy Staff. It helps to highlight the excellent work done by the team as an exemplar training unit within the UK Military Flying Training System. Since the inception of UKMFTS, we have continually adapted to the needs of Defence, and it is therefore of particular note that our 100th student is a member of the Royal Air Force on the Sensor Operator Lead in Course (SOLIC). As we look to the next 100 students, we remain ideally located at RNAS Culdrose and well placed; safeguarding the future of specialised Maritime Aviation within UK Defence by delivering key training to Royal Navy Observers and Royal Air Force Rear-crew. We will continue to teach them all the key airborne skills they will require to succeed on their respective Operational Conversion Units and eventually the Front Line.”
100th Student Sgt Nick Crofts from SOLIC 10 said: “750 NAS has provided an essential flying phase in our training, something that cannot be replicated in a simulated environment. It’s been fantastic eight weeks, with the added bonus of location, social and great weather.”