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Naval Engineers and Safety Equipment personnel receive certificates of competency

18 May 2017
Fifty Naval personnel from RNAS Culdrose completed their training and received their Certificates of Competency. Forty five were Aircraft Engineers and 5 were Survival Equipment personnel.

The junior personnel receiving their qualification are now able to work on the front line of Naval Air Squadrons based at Culdrose.

This is the culmination of about one year’s training that for the engineers awards them with Level 2 NVQ in Aeronautical Engineering.

More senior engineers also received awards. These were Leading Air Engineering Technicians (LAET) and Chief Petty Officer Air Engineering Technicians (CPOAET ).  

For these personnel, the LAETs have reached the first stage of management in the Royal Navy, being responsible for certain maintenance work on the Merlin Helicopters. 

For the CPOAETs, they may find themselves as the senior aircraft engineer when the aircraft are operating away from Culdrose and responsible for all engineering matters on the aircraft.

The Naval Air Engineering Technicians (AET) and Naval Airman Survival Equipment Ratings (NASE) are now working on front line Merlin Squadrons based at Culdrose.

When the aircraft are operating away from Culdrose embarked on Type 23 Frigates, Type 45 Destroyers, larger naval ships or vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary these Naval Ratings will make up part of the support team.

They could find themselves deployed anywhere in the world, on a ship or working from a land base defending the interests of the UK.

Top students on the course for the junior engineers was AET James McInnes, for the Survival Equipment personnel was NA Drew Powell , for the LAETs, Bethany Bryant and the top CPOAET was Aaron Collick.

During their training the AETs learn a great deal about the Merlin Helicopter, how to service it and conduct basic maintenance.

They also learn about the processes to be followed when conducting any work on aircraft. They continue their Naval Training with physical training, drill, leadership and knowledge of the Royal Navy.

Once working with a front line squadron they will maintain the aircraft under the supervisor of more senior personnel. They do have a great deal of responsibility conducting flight servicing, simply checking that the aircraft is fit to fly, and here they can work unsupervised.

For the more senior personnel, they will supervise others conducting complicated engineering on the Melin helicopter.

As they progress through the ranks they gain nationally recognised qualifications that lead to a foundation degree in engineering and ultimately to be a member of the Incorporated Engineers and have IENG after their names.

RNAS Culdrose offers the chance for young people to get involved in engineering.  Each term they run an engineering day.

Last term they ran the Bloodhound model car competition. This term students will be designing and making model gliders.

This is part of the Culdrose outreach and Stem Team (COAST) aimed at encouraging young people to develop their engineering skills.  Additionally next year is the Armed Forces Year of the Engineer, where there will be more opportunities to find out more about military engineering.  

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