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Air training reservists earn wings
RESERVIST pilots who helped train RAF Brize Norton personnel to fly Voyager aircraft have received military wings.
Flight Lieutenants Iain Cullen, James Davis and Kieran Roebuck received the honour at a ceremony at the Carterton airbase at the end of last month.
RAF Brevet, commonly known as ‘wings’, are awarded to RAF personnel once they have completed their aircrew training.
Flt Lt Cullen, 53, who lives near Abingdon, said: “It is a genuine honour and privilege to be awarded RAF wings. I never expected to receive RAF wings and I am pleased it has happened.”
He said he planned to wear the coveted wings at every available opportunity.
Flt Lt Cullen has 28 years experience in civil aviation and, before becoming a reservist, worked for BMI at Heathrow Airport.
He and the other reservists were chosen for the training role because of their experience of flying planes similar to Voyagers in civilian life.
Flt Lt Cullen said: “There is surprisingly little difference between civilian and military flying. Pilots everywhere tend to be of a certain mind set and we have fitted right in.”
Flt Lt Cullen and the other sponsored reservists have been attached to 10 Squadron to train the VC10 pilots to crew new Voyagers.
By 2016, 14 Voyagers will be based at RAF Brize Norton – taking over from the 50-year-old VC10s.
Air Vice Marshal Philip Osborn said: “Our sponsored reserve pilots are subject to the same military law and principles as their regular counterparts and it is our intent that no distinction should be made between SRs and regular pilots.”
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