TA Soldier chosen as Britains first Astronaut!

OK, he was a reg for 17 years before joining the TA. Full MoD story below:


A test pilot with the Army Air Corps, Major Timothy Peake, has been accepted into the European Space Agency's Astronaut Corps it was announced today, Wednesday 20 May 2009.

Major Peake, aged 37, who helped train the first crews on the Apache helicopter was announced as one of six new recruits into the Astronaut Corps at a special ceremony in Paris today.

He said:

"It has been quite a difficult year and the waiting has been quite difficult during the past few weeks. If it wasn't for the British Army I wouldn't be in this position, so I'm very grateful for the training and support I've received from them also."

Speaking about today's announcement, Director Army Aviation, Brigadier David Short, said:

"Major Tim Peake is unquestionably one of the finest officers I have had the privilege to command. He has the aviation skill-set, tenacity and determination to excel in everything he does yet remains an extremely modest and clearly very talented individual.

"He was an outstanding Army Air Corps Flight Commander, Qualified Helicopter Instructor and Apache Pilot who progressed to the Empire Test Pilots' School where he was awarded the best student prize. A truly gifted individual, it has come as no surprise to me that he has been selected from 10,000 applicants to reach the last of the prestigious European Space Agency Programme."

Air Vice Marshal Anderson, the MOD's Senior Responsible Owner for Space Matters, said:

"The MOD offers warmest congratulations to Major Peake on his selection. It is a fantastic achievement of which he should be extremely proud. His selection shows the high calibre of our Service personnel and their ability to compete in this expanding and challenging area."

"If it wasn't for the British Army I wouldn't be in this position, so I'm very grateful for the training and support I've received."

The European Space Agency says its new astronauts were judged solely on their ability to do the job.

Major Peake and his new colleagues will now train to fly to the space station.

Major Peake currently lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He is a helicopter test pilot and has a degree in flight dynamics. He flies primarily Apache helicopters and has over 3,000 hours to his credit.

He was commissioned into the Army Air Corps (AAC) in 1992. He completed an eight-month attachment to The Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland, where he served as a Platoon Commander. Having attended the Army Pilots Course he gained his wings in June 1994 and was subsequently posted to Germany as a Gazelle pilot.

During his first tour he also spent five months flying in Northern Ireland prior to gaining aircraft commander and flight commander status. He deployed with his flight to Kenya and later on operations to Bosnia. He also attended exercises in Canada, Cyprus and Denmark and completed a Combat Survival and Rescue Officers Course.

In 1998, he attended a Qualified Helicopter Instructors (QHI) Course at RAF Shawbury followed by a tour at Middle Wallop, instructing students on the Army Pilots Course. He was selected for an exchange posting to the USA in September 1999 and was posted to the 1st Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment in Fort Hood, Texas.

On completion of his conversion to both the Apache AH-64A and AH-64D, Major Peake spent 12 months as the Operations Officer, where he was heavily involved in the unit's integration into the US Army's First Digitized Division. The remainder of his overseas tour was spent flying the Apache as a Platoon Commander.

In 2002 he was posted to Middle Wallop as one of the first British Army QHIs instructing on the UK Apache. He attended staff training in 2003, followed by an 18-month tour as a QHI with the Air Manoeuvre Training Advisory Team in Dishforth, preparing the first two AAC Apache Squadrons for deployment on operations.

He was awarded a four-star commendation for his efforts in introducing the UK Apache into service. He was selected for Empire Test Pilots' School in January 2005 and on graduating was posted to the Rotary Wing Test Squadron (RWTS), Boscombe Down.

He was employed as the senior Apache test pilot and squadron training officer. On completion of his tour at RWTS, Major Peake retired from the AAC aged 37, having served for 17 years. He remains committed to reservist service in the AAC.
good for him , what a experience that will b :D
Is he a arrser? Could he be the first Arrser in space? (thats excluding four tonner full of space cadets that have descended onto arrse)
I would translate this as meaning he's currently on the Regular Army Reserve Officer list.

He might end up in the fledgling 6 Regt AAC (V) Watchkeepers' Pool, I suppose.


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