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International Graduation at RAF Shawbury

A parade has been held at RAF Shawbury to celebrate the graduation of 22 aircrew from No.1 Flying Training School.

The completion of training, which included the award of the flying badge (“wings”) to those eligible, represents a significant step in the careers of trainees who will now proceed to operational conversion (OCU) training on frontline helicopter types.

The trainees, 18 pilots and four rearcrew, included 11 from the German Armed Forces who received RAF Wings, German Wings, and their German flying licenses.

The Reviewing Officer for the parade was Rear Admiral Anthony Rimington, Director of Strategy and Policy and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff and a former Lynx helicopter pilot. He said:

All who graduate today can be justifiably proud of completing a course which has demanded application, dedication, and hard work. They leave Shawbury to re-join their respective services safe in the knowledge they have bright and exciting careers ahead of them and I wish them every success in their future endeavours.

Brigadier General Dr Volker Bauersachs, Commanding General Army Helicopter Command and Brigadier General Frank Best, Director Flying Operations, Air Force Forces Command were also present.

Operating military helicopters requires not only a high degree of individual skill, but it also requires an innate understanding between pilot and crew. Here on 1 FTS we pride ourselves on delivering the best training in the world to ensure our trainees graduate with this rounded ability.

In the current complex European security environment, the understanding and friendships developed here at RAF Shawbury, between our German partners and ourselves can only strengthen our steadfast approach to international security.

Group Captain Andy Baron BEng MA MSc,
RAF Shawbury Station Commander

RAF Shawbury is home to 1 FTS (formerly the Defence Helicopter Flying School) which delivers the Rotary Wing UK Military Flying Training System. In addition to a fleet of Juno and Jupiter helicopters the station boasts a range of state-of-the-art synthetics and training devices. Trainees from the air arms of partners and allies do not displace those of our own. International Defence Training is offered when irreducible spare capacity exists.