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Aircraftman set for duty after finishing training

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

By ROB SMYTH

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A BURTON man could be heading for Afghanistan after successfully completing his training as a future flight operations assistant for the RAF.

Leading aircraftsmen Ian Colclough was handed the Salesian Trophy, for best improved student, after he graduated from the Central Air Traffic Control School at RAF Shawbury.

The 22-year-old, who attended Burton and South Derbyshire College before joining the RAF in July 2012, told the Mail: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at RAF Shawbury, especially learning new subjects.”

Flight operations assistants help ensure the safe movement of aircraft at airfields and also support flying operations in station or squadron ‘ops rooms’ and from control towers at RAF airfields.

They use the latest technology to update aeronautical data, provide information for mission and flight planning and assist air traffic controllers in their work.

The students of No 1028 Flight Operations Assistants Course have completed 10 weeks training at the unit with seven students, including Ian, graduating.

All of the students are posted to airfields across the United Kingdom including Valley in Wales and Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Mr Colclough will be posted to RAF Benson, in Oxfordshire, and could soon find himself on active operations in Afghanistan.

He was handed his award and commended for his work during training by Group Captain Chris Luck, the Station Commander at RAF Shawbury.

Military Air Traffic Control Training has been completed at the airbase since 1950 covering all military controllers, assistants and operations support roles.

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