loadmasters 2016

The Air Loadmasters

Master Aircrew Marcus Burton

MACr Marcus Burton

MACR Marcus Burton joined the RAF in 1990, originally as a Trade Group 9 Assistant Air Traffic Controller. After tours at RAF St Mawgan and RAF Cowden Air Weapons Range, he re-mustered to Non-Commissioned Aircrew as an Air Loadmaster in 1997. After training he was posted to RAF Odiham to fly the Chinook HC2/3. He has over 2,600 hours on type and served continuously on the Chinook Wing for 16 years with three tours on No18 (B) Squadron. During this time he was involved in operations in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone,Iraq and Afghanistan, in his primary role and also as an Air Gunnery Instructor and Qualified Crewman Helicopter Instructor. In between operational tours he also served on the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight, attaining an A2 instructional categoryand training ab-initio and returning, experienced Chinook Crewmen. In 2010 he was posted to Support Helicopter STANEVAL as the Chinook Crewman Examiner responsible to Commander Joint Helicopter Command for the flying standards of Chinook, Merlin and Puma Crewmen. In addition, he was also the Central Flying School(Helicopter) Agent responsible for the standardization of Chinook QHCIs. Posted to 45 (R) Squadron, RAF Cranwell in summer 2014, he took over the role of Senior Instructor, Weapon Systems Operator (Generic) Training.

Born and educated in Lincolnshire, he is a proud ‘Yellowbelly’ with vivid memories of the BBMF aircraft from childhood, particularly when his father used to take him to RAF Coningsby to watch the aircraft from the ‘other side of the fence’.

The 2017 display season is his fourth as a Dakota ALM and third as ALMLeader.

Flight Sergeant Paul Simmons

paul simmons

Paul joined the RAF as a Direct Entry Air Loadmaster in 1990. After training he was posted to Puma Mk1, serving on 230 Sqn at RAF Aldergrove. In 1994 he transferred to Chinook Mk2 serving on 18 Sqn at RAF Laarbruch, the last helicopter squadron to be based in Germany. Having served on both 18 and 27 Sqns at RAF Odiham, he completed tours in the Falkland Islands, Bosnia and Kosovo whilst also qualifying as an Air Gunnery instructor (AGI) and Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor (QHTI). In 2000 he became a Qualified Helicopter Crewman Instructor (QHCI) on the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight (OCF) before becoming the QHCI on 27 Sqn.

In 2004 he was posted to 216 Sqn at RAF Brize Norton operating Tri-Star. In 2008 he became Head of Fixed Wing Flying Training at 55(R) Sqn at RAF Cranwell, instructing Weapon System Operators as well as operating as a Pilot's Assistant (PA) on the Dominie, before moving to the King Air on 45 (R) Sqn.

He is now operating as a Mission System Operator (MSO) on the Voyager out of RAF Brize Norton where he carries out both instruction in the Air Transport and Air to Air Refueling roles. With over 6000 flying hours, this is seventh season with BBMF.

Flight Sergeant Richard ‘Whitey’ White

FS Richard White Whitey joined the Air Force in 2003. After completing initial training he was selected to complete helicopter training at RAF Shawbury, before being posted to 28 (AC) Sqn to fly the Merlin HC3. There he flew on Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rich is a Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor and a Crew Served Weapons Instructor.

In 2010 he moved to 78 Sqn to take up post as the Merlin Force Crewman Standards Officer. Here he was responsible for maintaining the standards of fellow crewman. He now has over 2600 flying hours, 1600 of these on operations.

On promotion Rich remained with 78 Sqn before moving to the Operational Training Centre in 2014. Here he delivers pre deployment and mission training to the RAF.

In his spare time Rich has represented the RAF at the Inter Service Ski Championships and instructs on the Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course. This is his first season on BBMF.

Flight Sergeant Jase Hollingsworth

FS Jase Hollingsworth

Jase joined the Royal Air Force as a direct entrant in 1997. He completed Airmen Aircrew Initial Training and the Air Loadmaster course at RAFC Cranwell before moving to RAF Shawbury to train as a Helicopter Crewman. Posted to RAF Odiham, he converted to the Chinook HC2 and joined 27 Sqn. His operational experience spans 15 years, within which he has flown 4500 hours on the type. During that time he has served on 18(B) and 27 Sqn supporting operations in areas such as Bosnia, Northern Ireland, West Africa, the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Following the Central Flying School (Helicopter) Instructor course in 2005 he was posted to the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight on18(B) Sqn back at RAF Odiham. Between 2006 and 2008 he was responsible for the training and development of new and returning aircrew to the Chinook wing. No stranger to the display world, he was fortunate enough to represent the Chinook as a display crewman during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Leaving the Chinook in 2012, he was posted to the Airmen’s Command Squadron at RAF Halton. A highly rewarding ground tour, this role was a complete departure from the operating of frontline aircraft. Responsible for training Non-Commissioned Aircrew from all platform types, he developed their management and leadership skills before they adopted higher profile roles within the Service. As part of this training, he delivered contemporary and historic Air Power lectures to both aircrew and ground trades, maintaining a tangible appreciation of Service history and guiding future decision making processes.

Jase has returned to full time flying duties, converting from rotary operations during the summer of 2016. He now flies as an Air Loadmaster on fixed wing aircraft in support of operations globally.

Master Aircrew Rob Ward

Rob joined the RAF as a Direct Entry Air Loadmaster in 1993.After basic Training at RAF Swinderby and Airman Aircrew Training at RAF Finningley he was posted to the C130K at RAF Lyneham. He served on 70 Sqn, 57(R) Sqn and 47 Sqn,supporting Operations and Exercises world-wide in the Tactical and Strategic role.

Following posting to 99 Sqn RAF Brize Norton, Rob completed his OCU on the C17 at Altus AFB Oklahoma. His time on 99 Sqn has mainly involved moving out-sized cargo and troops in support of various operations, largely in Afghanistan, but also in Mali and Iraq. His most rewarding role has been the urgent evacuation of wounded troops back to the UK, whilst the most humbling was repatriating those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Rob has amassed over 7000 hours fixed wing flying.

Rob is currently working at MOD Abbey Wood for Defence Support Chain Operations and Movements(DSCOM), supporting the Air Mobility needs for Defence.

This his first season for the BBMF as Dakota Air Loadmaster.

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