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Executive Officer of 1710 NAS speaks on Women in Engineering Day

Executive Officer of 1710 NAS speaks on Women in Engineering Day
23 June 2022
To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, Lieutenant Commander Hazelle Garton reflects on her career as an Air Engineer Officer and offers advice to future engineers.

Thursday 23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day. To celebrate, the second-in-command of 1710 Naval Air Squadron spoke about her experience in the Navy so far. Lt Cdr Garton, who heads up a team of 42 repair engineers, is responsible for fixing the structure of helicopters from all three services.

Describing her role, she said: “I lead a team of specialist engineers from the Royal Navy and British Army, who design and embody structural repairs to UK military rotary wing aircraft anywhere in the world. I see my particular role as being responsible for giving the team the tools, support and direction needed to deliver the capability”.

The naval officer previously served in HMS Queen Elizabeth while the ship was being built, in what she now describes as her most interesting job.

“I think that my time in HMS Queen Elizabeth was my most exciting role. Because the ship was in build, I got a real insight into what it takes to physically construct a ship and then was able to play my part in building the ship’s company. Getting to go around the ‘dock bottom’ and touch the hull was particularly cool and I’m really proud to have my name on the plaques on the hangar door”.

Lt Cdr Garton, whose wife is also a Royal Navy engineer, still finds time to balance her work with family life and sporting achievements. She represents the Royal Navy at golf and has previously captained the Navy women’s cricket team. She said: “I’ve faced plenty of challenges in the navy, most relate to thinking I’m not good enough to do a particular job. Outside of that I’d say the hardest thing is balancing doing the job I love with all the other things I enjoy doing”.

Having served since 2008, Lt Cdr Garton has seen attitudes within the Royal Navy transform: “I think the biggest change has been how open people are to conversations that 14 years ago would not have taken place, particularly around mental health and Diversity & Inclusion”.

When asked if she has any advice for aspiring engineers, Lt Cdr Garton said, “Be inquisitive: ask questions and if the answer doesn’t satisfy you, ask more”.

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