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Warrant Officer Nikki Nolan becomes the new Station Warrant Officer

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Hello and Goodbye as RAF Coningsby welcomes new Station Warrant Officer

Leadership, discipline and standards have a new face at Royal Air Force Coningsby this week as Warrant Officer Nikki Nolan becomes the new Station Warrant Officer. 

The 16th May also marked the departure of Warrant Officer Guy Collinge, who retired from regular RAF service after 39 years. He joined the RAF in 1985 as a chef and has served at MoD Boscombe Down and RAF Coningsby as Station Warrant Officer. 

Mr Collinge said:

“It’s flown by to be honest. I’ve really enjoyed it and to finish as a SWO, which is kind of the top of the tree, on the main camp of the Royal Air Force, it’s been a huge privilege.” 

Responsible for the maintenance of discipline and standards, a SWO is the Station Commander’s eyes and ears. In addition to their many other duties, Station Warrant Officers also organise and direct official parades in the nearby towns and cities. 

Warrant Officer Nolan joined the RAF in 2000 as a Personal Administrator, completing her basic training at RAF Halton. She has had 12 assignments across a range of Stations in the UK and also served Overseas in South Africa, America, Gibraltar, Minhad and been posted to the Falkland Islands more than once.  

Mrs Nolan said:

“Being a Station Warrant Officer is an honour. This is what I have always wanted to do, and in many senses, it is the pinnacle of a full RAF career. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people at RAF Coningsby, being out and about, but most importantly being a voice for the enlisted ranks.” 

Like every other Station Warrant Officer in the Royal Air Force, Warrant Officer Nolan has a careful eye for detail. Mrs Nolan added:

“I am a stickler for discipline and standards, but it’s how you do it that’s the important thing. Ultimately, if I am not approachable, how am I going to do my job?” 

The handover ceremony, in which Mr Collinge received the bowler hat presented to all retiring Warrant Officers, was held in front of RAF Coningsby’s Station headquarters building.  

The Station Commander is Group Captain Paul O’Grady. He said:

“Firstly, we must thank Mr Collinge for his four decades of service to his country, and for the exceptional service he has given to RAF Coningsby during his time as Station Warrant Officer. Mr Collinge has been a positive influence on hundreds of aviators during his career and we wish him every success for the future.” 

Group Captain O’Grady continued:

“I am pleased to welcome Warrant Officer Nolan as the new Station Warrant Officer. She brings a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the Royal Air Force and I know her dedication and hard work will benefit the Station and local community.” 

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