29 SQN UPDATE
“WHOLE FORCE” TYPHOON TRAINING
IT’S NOT JUST MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE THAT MAKE UP CONINGSBY’S LARGEST TYPHOON SQUADRON.
By embracing the “Whole Force” concept, members of our industry partners are playing a vital role in all aspects of the Squadron’s day-to-day life.
Over the last 12 months, BAE Systems has been providing Instructor pilots to 29 Sqn to assist with the Sqn’s output and contribute to training Typhoon pilots. These Civilian Qualified Flying Instructors (C-QFIs) are all ex-military fast jet pilots whose core role is to provide training within the Typhoon Training Facility (TTF) and Simulator here at RAF Coningsby. TTF provide 2 pilots daily from a cadre of 5 C-QFIs who rotate between 29 Sqn and TTF and, between them, they bring more than 15,000 flight hours and around 95yrs of active service and instructional experience. Jim Haskins is the lead pilot for the cadre of BAE Systems pilots:
”I joined the RAF at 18yrs of age and it has been a large and important part of my life; being able to be part of a Squadron again, surrounded by likeminded professional personnel and contributing to an output that is so vitally important to the Typhoon Force growth is a huge privilege. Many of us were here at the beginning of Typhoon and it is brilliant to see at first hand the advances in capability the Typhoon and Force has made”.
“Working so embedded with 29 Sqn has many advantages for the Typhoon training community, and it clearly has a very real positive impact on TTF training. Having some of our simulator instructors maintaining current instructional Typhoon flying practice gives direct feedback to the quality, content and relevance of the current TTF syllabus and the training we provide. We can react quickly to the changing requirements of the Force for the benefit of all”
29 Squadron also runs the annual Typhoon Qualified Weapons Instructor Course (QWIC). This course is designed to train experienced Typhoon pilots and Air Battle Space Managers (ABMs) through some of the most advanced high end tactical training in the Western world. This training is made possible thanks to members of Inzpire who are embedded on 29 Sqn to facilitate all aspects of the QWIC. Al Allsop and Mark Doney are both former members of the RAF; Al as a former Typhoon/Harrier QFI and Mark as an ABM on the Sentry E-3D bringing a vast wealth of experience to the task of planning large scale training exercises.
On the engineering side, the Squadron currently has 31 members of BAE systems working alongside their RAF counterparts. These men and women are all graduates from BAE Systems Humberside Academy and spend between 1-2 years on the Squadron to gain vital experience in Typhoon operations. In return, they offer 29 Squadron a vital source of manpower from flight line servicing right through to 1st line maintenance of our aircraft.
20-year-old Jordan Granter and 22-year-old Andrew Cosgrove have both worked for BAE Systems since leaving school. Andrew has previously worked on the Hawk and Tornado GR4, prior to being selected for a placement on 29, whilst Jordan has gained experience in depth maintenance during his BAE apprenticeship. Andrew found that the opportunity to work on an RAF Squadron has provided him with training and skills that he could not have gained elsewhere, whilst Jordan feels that he is now much better prepared to undertake a role overseas working with Typhoon partner nations.