Technical and Engineering v16 - Page 19

ENGINEER OFFICER “THE RAF IS AN ORGANISATION LIKE NO OTHER BECAUSE OF OUR PEOPLE, NO MATTER HOW BIG THE CHALLENGE, THE TEAM ALWAYS SUCCEEDS – THAT’S WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO” ON THE JOB ENGINEER OFFICER JAMES James is a Flight Lieutenant, commanding ‘F’ Flight on Tactical Communications Wing (TCW). He was sponsored by the RAF while studying his A-Levels at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College and then at university where he read Electronic Engineering at the University of Birmingham. “TCW is the deployable element of 90 Signals Units, which is charged with ‘supporting airpower through the delivery of assured information communications services’. We’re all aware that without communications you can’t have air operations. “My day job is commanding a Flight of 42 Cyberspace Communications Specialists, which provides endless leadership and managerial challenges, thankfully you learn the skills required on the Initial Officer Training course and during professional engineering training. “My team are all experts on individual parts of the overall systems that we deliver, be it satellite communications, local area networks, computer systems, applications and an ever increasing domain, defence of the network from a diverse range of cyber threats. “One of my key roles while deployed, as the lead communications specialist, is to have an in-depth understanding of the effect that the RAF is trying to achieve. I have to translate this into what communication systems are required to enable the RAF to deliver this. This could be support to a humanitarian crisis, defence of the air or delivery of precision guided munitions from a combat aircraft. “As a professional engineer I have to deliver all of this in a manner which is efficient, safe and secure so that the output is reliable, effective and meets the needs of the operational commander. “90 Signals Unit has faced and overcome countless challenges over the years and continues to deliver on operations. We do this by focusing on our people. By investing in them they always exceed our expectations, delivering in the most testing circumstances. “The RAF is an organisation like no other because of our people, no matter how big the challenge, the team always succeeds – that’s why I love what I do.” 19