Engineering excellence at Yeovilton
Brilliant young Air Engineering Technicians (AETs) have celebrated the successful completion of their 23 week Phase 2b training at RNAS Yeovilton as part of a 55 week long training programme to fully equip the 28 as fully qualified to maintain aircraft technicians.
During the Phase 2b course these bright trainees undergo 8 weeks of 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.
History was made as this ceremony sees the first 6 AET’s qualify as trained engineers on the Wildcat helicopter.
A new trophy has been established by AgustaWestland for the Wildcat trainee who has achieved the best all-round academic results throughout the training. This was presented to AET Robert Challinor (25) by Mr Rich Webber – AgustaWestland Wildcat Training Centre, Training Service Deliver Manager.
AET Challinor said “It is hugely rewarding in the air engineering department and I am very proud to receive the AgustaWestland award. Hopefully I can now look forward to becoming part of a ships company and gets lots of detachments under my belt. I joined the Navy as I’ve always had an interest in engineering and it sounded like the best job ever. I look forward to my future.”
At the parade Captain Ivan Finn Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Air Engineering (DACOS AE) presented each AET with their Qualified to Maintain (QM) Certificate to mark the culmination of a total of 55 weeks training and formally welcomed them to the trained strength of the Fleet Air Arm.
Captain Finn thanked the families present and said “you are part of the wider naval family and as we demand a lot from these young people during their careers you provide invaluable support that enables us in the Royal Navy to do our job”.
Turning to the newly qualified AET’s Captain Finn added “no where else in the Royal Navy do we give Sailors as much responsibility as these men and women get. They are the first and the last line of air worthiness for our aircraft and we trust them”.
From this outstanding group of Technicians five were chosen to receive a Trophy for their exemplary ability and competence throughout their training. AET Amy Humphries (24) was the only girl of 28 qualifying technicians.
Amy said,” I feel so proud to be here today. I’ve always wanted to join the Royal Navy and work with aircraft, especially rotary. In the future I would like to be a qualified Leading Hand (LH) and experience time at sea. I look forward in the future to working on the F 35B Lightening 2 aircraft or on the Wildcat helicopter.”
Trophies were kindly donated by Industry Partners. Serco awarded AET Thomas Merrien with their Trophy for achieving the best academic results by a SeaKing Helicopter trainee. Mr Alistair Salter, Rolls Royce Field Service Team Leader awarded the Rolls Royce trophy to AET Patrick Mcloughlin for the best results achieved by a Lynx Helicopter trainee.
AET Nathan Lee got the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Trophy, the first time this has been awarded to the trainee who has demonstrated the highest standard of Royal Naval Ethos, through their spirit, loyalty, respect, sense of humour and determination during Phase 2b training. This was presented by Lt Cdr Jamie Elliott Wildcat Senior Aircraft Engineer on 825 Naval Air Squadron.
AET Forster received the Commando Helicopter Force Trophy for outstanding Royal Naval Ethos, Spirit and Loyalty.
On completion of their parade the 28 newly qualified technicians, their families, military instructors and industry guests celebrated their achievements, reflecting on their success over lunch.
Commander Air Engineering, Mark Langrill closed the parade by saying “before me I have 28 young men and women that have been recognised for their excellence. I am delighted to see them here at such an important and significant moment in their careers and they now join the trained strength of the Royal Navy”.