Royal Navy Air Arm welcomes first female Senior Observer

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by MoD_RSS, Jan 19, 2011.

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  2. Arghhhh...............! Ginger alert!
  3. No stick, no vote was never more apposite.
  4. Great. L/Cpls used to do her job.....
  5. You could always throw her out of the cockpit as an improvised hi-vis marker buoy?

    And what's going on with the conehead hair? Are the FAA issuing tapered flying helmets now?
  6. Well exactly. What's particularly newsworthy here? The whole frontline doris thing is passe. Unless we're going to work through all equipments, ranks and locations collecting 'firsts.' In which case there will be a whole load of anodyne press releases to come...
  7. Observer in RN speak does not mean the same thing as Observer in AAC speak. I do agree, though, that this is not really news.
  8. For the benefit of the uninitiated, RN Observer candidates undergo initial officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) which includes flying grading. Those who survive the high drop-out rate are then sent on the six-month Basic Observer Course (BOC) at 750 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Culdrose where they learn their trade in Jetstreams. If they have managed to progress this far, they are streamed for training on one of three aircraft types:

    • Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) Course
    • Lynx Operational Conversion Unit (OCU)
    • Merlin OCU
    The Merlin Observer candidates spend 12 months at OCU, initially learning secondary roles, including Search and Rescue, before progressing through simulators to aircraft training in combat roles. This includes operating the combat management system, radar and ESM plus passive and active sonar for submarine detection and prosecution with Stingray torpedoes. The surviving candidates then achieve limited Combat Ready status and are deployed to the frontline where, after some consolidation, they achieve 'Combat Ready' and are awarded certificates of competence.

    Especially talented Merlin Observers can eventually achieve Senior Observer (SOBS) status like Lt Cdr Burbidge. I note that she is also a Helicopter Warfare Instructor (HWI) and first qualified on Sea Kings. Pretty impressive, and dare I say newsworthy, for someone who started off as a Wren air mechanic on Hunters, Chipmunks, Devons and SK Mk5s.

    P.S. I was always told that the Observer of an ASW helo sets up the fully automated search and hover patterns so the pilot just has to make the coffee in between take-off and landing. :razz:
  9. Good skills

    I don't think she's always been a gwar
  10. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Editted cos it wasn't relevant anymore
  11. AAC Observer - No stick= No vote
    RN Observer - No stick= No vote
    Self propelled nav bag.

    See, they are the same :p

    (Yes, in reality, I do know there is a heap of difference and RN Observers rule the cockpit and the RN Aircrew world. And the simple fact is, RN pilots tend to be just that - Airframe driver. Whereas AAC pilots do the bulk of the roles RN Observers do in role as Aircraft Commander ;-))
  12. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I served with her on one of the Fort boats while she was with 814 sqn. She is only about 5' tall. She seemed pretty sound and was well liked in comparison to the other female FLOBS onboard who was a proper beeatch.

    I didn't realise she was an ex blue badge. Good on her.
  13. I don`t see the need for officer aircrew [male or female] for any reason. They get paid a hell of a lot more flying pay than ratings and attend lots of cocktail parties, when they retire they get huge ongoing payments which is depleting the navy`s ration strength. In WW2 in Bomber Command most of the air cew were NCO`s including pilots and navigators. taking off on a dark night in a heavy four engine aircraft loaded with bombs and flying long distances into Germany being attacked by fighters and flack, thats what I call brave, not sitting in the back of a helicopter giving directions to some bone head of a pilot who can`t navigate his way out of a paper bag.
  14. I like the cut of your jib young fellow me lad :-D
  15. He's referring to you, Flash!