UK: RN Air Engineers Focus on the Now and the Future

RN Air Engineers Focus on the Now and the Future

As part of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) commitment to Continuous Professional Development, around 200 Air Engineers & Warrant Officers gathered at HMS Sultan for the biennial Royal Navy Air Engineer Officers’ Conference.

Chaired by Commodore Malcolm Toy, Head of Specialisation for Air Engineers lectures covered a widespread of topics including personnel employment, air safety and training management matters – all aimed at sustaining a capable, effective and professional Air Engineering cadre; to meet the Navy’s maritime competence needs now, and in the future.

Attendees were given an update on the exciting changes and new challenges coming to the FAA from Wildcat and Merlin Mk3 helicopters now entering Royal Navy Service and most significantly, the return to fixed-wing carrier operations when the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter operates from the new HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Conference was honoured to have Rear Admiral Lister, Chief Naval Engineer Officer and Director Submarines as the keynote speaker.

He recognised the positive benefits of the ability of Air Engineers who play a major part in maintaining the ‘fighting edge’ through engineering excellence in many theatres of operation, alongside other branches and Services.

The Conference was delighted to have Rear Admiral Harding, COS Aviation and Carriers, as the guest speaker at the evening dinner and his speech on future naval aviation blended perfectly with the conference theme.

Following dinner, student Air Engineer Officers performed an amusing sketch dedicated to the role of the Fleet Air Arm in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Reflecting upon the event, Commodore Toy said,

“It was an honour to chair the Air Engineer Officer’s Conference of 2013.

“With such a large number of us in attendance we were able to consider what the Chief Naval Engineering Officer’s Engineering Strategy means for the Air Engineering sub-branch; and how we can best contribute to the future Navy.”

Press Release, August 21, 2013; Image: Navy