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New approach to supporting aircraft operations - Protector Technician

A new and innovative training course has commenced in the United States which will see the qualification of the first cohort of engineers as Dedicated Cross-Skilled Technicians on the new Protector RG1 remotely piloted air system (RPAS).

Image shows the Protector aircraft on the airfield with a Pilot arm patch in shot.

Hitherto the roles of Weapons Technician, Avionics Technician and Mechanical Technician were entirely separate but, supported by new technology, a new approach is being taken for aviators supporting Protector which will operate from RAF Waddington from 2024.

This is a phenomenal opportunity for the whole team. We are challenging the `we have always done it this way` position, to innovate the way that we do business. Astra thinking and Professions has provided us the creative license to utilise a Dedicated Cross-skilled Technician that will enable a mobile and dynamic workforce to enhance the highly deployable capability that Protector will deliver.

Flight Lieutenant Alex
31 Squadron Executive Officer

The training, delivered by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in California, will see the traditional roles replaced by the Protector Technician role. This will allow for a reduced footprint whilst deployed and afford greater flexibility when deploying in support of operations overseas. The technicians, who currently sit between the ranks of Corporal and Chief Technician, will undertake all tasks up to the point that the aircraft chocks are removed at which point aircrew, situated at RAF Waddington, will take over control.

Image shows the Protector aircraft in flight above the clouds.

Read more about the Protector