The Royal Air Force is saying a fond farewell to an entire aircrew trade as the last ever students pass out of the Weapons Systems course from RAF Leeming.
Flight Lieutenants Sam Baker, Helena Phillips and Jamie Lamb will be the last Weapons Systems Officers to complete training in the Hawk as the WSO course winds down. The trade will not be needed in the future as the Tornado GR4 is due to be phased out by 2020, and replacement aircraft will be single seaters.
The students will now move on to RAF Lossiemouth where they will learn the details of flying the Tornado GR4, ready for deployment on operations anywhere in the world.
Helena, 27, said: “It has been very challenging but there is a real sense of achievement as you pass every stage of the course. ”
Sam, 26, added: “I went to an air show when I was six years old and I’ve wanted to fly since then. The course has been very hard work, but the rewards are worth it.”
For Jamie, 27, training to become a Weapons Systems Officer has exceeded his expectations: “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing the job for real.”