Ali

Air Engineer

"The Royal Navy was an excellent choice for me as I have been challenged professionally far more than I would have been at the same point in my career had I joined a civilian engineering company"

I decided to join the military as the travelling and active lifestyle appealed to me. Having completed a masters degree in Ship Science, I joined BRNC Dartmouth in September 2014 and gained my commission in April the following year. As I was streamed as an Air Engineering Officer (AEO), I then spent 3 months with the air engineering department on board HMS OCEAN. This was an exciting time during which the ship was in the Baltic Sea, conducting flying serials with rotary wing aircraft from each of the three services.

AEO training started for me in September 2016 at HMS SULTAN where I completed the 9 month Systems Engineering and Management Course (SEMC). In this course we gain technical knowledge in a generic aircraft type as well as learn how a Naval Air Squadron operates and interacts with the air station, Navy Command and the Project Team.

On completion of SEMC, I moved to RNAS Culdrose to finish my AEO training. This included shadowing personnel working with the Merlin Mk 2 on 824NAS as well as in roles in other air station facilities and culminated in gaining my Certificate of Competency for Air Engineering.

Currently I am now in my first job as the Assistant AEO of 820NAS and have completed my first detachment up in Scotland working out of RAF Lossiemouth, preparing to support HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH during her sea trials.

Next I will be starting training to become an aircraft observer so that I will be able to join the Flight Test team in the role of Maintenance Test Observer (MTO). In this role I will be utilising my experience as both aircrew and engineer to test the systems of the aircraft in the air, ensuring that they are fully mission-ready.

The Royal Navy was an excellent choice for me as I have been challenged professionally far more than I would have been at the same point in my career had I joined a civilian engineering company. As well as this, the extra opportunities available has meant that in my 2 years in the RN I have taken part in the RN ski champs in France, a multi-activity adventurous training week in Bavaria and played for the RN Netball Team.

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