RAF Hercules in Afghanistan

Blog - Sqn Ldr Jane Thomson

Sqn Ldr Jane Thomson Squadron Leader Jane Thomson

I am 47 years old, and I am a senior nurse with a wide range of nursing experience. I’ve been nursing for approximately 28 years, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Doesn’t time fly. I am married with two daughters.

At home in Scotland I currently hold the position of lead Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist working in HNS Forth Valley, a job which I dearly love. I completed my postgraduate studies and graduated from the University of Dundee having completed an MSc in Advanced Practice. Over the past 9 years I have been a member of 612 Sqn, Royal Auxiliary Air force, based at RAF Leuchars. I joined the Sqn to fine-tune my management and leadership skills. In 2003 the Sqn deployed to Cyprus to augment The Princess Mary Hospital at RAF Akrotiri, which was in support of Op TELIC 1. We eventually deployed forward to deliver a Role 2+ capability to support 1 CS Med Regt in Al Amarah. I was a Corporal at the time, but returned to the UK and was successful in obtaining a Commission. In 2006 I then deployed to the Role 2+ in Shiabah Log Base, Iraq. I now find myself here in Afghanistan, with 34 Field Hospital, part of the Joint Force Support (A) Medical Group. I am the officer in charge of the wards with a capacity of up to 50 beds.

This deployment stands out from all others. I am working with an amazing team of professionals and have found all my leadership skills tested to the full. My biggest challenge has been to build a new multinational and tri-service team from scratch.

I am accommodated in a tented pod with 7 other Heads of Department. The food is just great, with up to eight choices at each sitting and you can even get ice cream. In the desert! My working hours are Mon-Sun, 0800 till late. No two days are ever the same out here. Even the weather has been somewhat changeable with showers, just like Scotland, but with a bit more sand and higher temperatures. I am out here for another 10 weeks and looking forward to all the challenges ahead…so watch this space.

Photography: RAF/MOD/Crown Copyright 2010.

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