The Royal Air Force is a diverse organisation and we are very lucky to have so many incredible women in Team Benson.
As part of International Women's Day, we're introducing you to just some of the women who form part of 28 Squadron here at RAF Benson. Together, they help to ensure that the front line has fully trained Support Helicopter aircrew.
Hannah is Chinook helicopter pilot and instructor. She has many highlights from her career, as she explains: "Nothing beats the privilege of command and I’m honoured to currently be the Officer Commanding 28 Squadron which is the Operational Conversion Unit for all Support Helicopter aircrew. I’m very fortunate to have also commanded on operations in Afghanistan and knowing you are leading a team that are making a real difference to peoples’ lives and futures is extremely rewarding. The RAF strap line is that it is “No Ordinary Job” and I absolutely agree; no 2 days are the same for me."
Louise is the Senior Engineering Officer on 28 Squadron. She says, "In my 18 years of service, my favourite moments are the tours where I have been in Command of people. I commissioned from the ranks because I felt I could make a difference. If during my tour I can make a difference to one person’s career then great, if however, I can improve the lived and worked experience for them all, then that’s where I get the most satisfaction."
Ashleigh is an Operations Officer on 28 Squadron. She says, "Since joining the RAF in 2014, every role has been diverse and challenging, and I have enjoyed every moment. I am currently on my first tour as an Operations Officer on 28 Squadron after commissioning. Taking on operations at a dual-platformed Squadron is a new challenge for me but one that I'm enjoying so far."
Charlotte is a Civil Servant who has recently joined the Squadron and works within the HR team. She says, "I've enjoyed working with a wide range of people who possess a variety of different life skills. I've also managed to obtain my CIPD Level 3 qualification through the Civil Service Apprenticeship Scheme."
Chloe is an Engineering Officer who has experienced opportunities around the globe, although graduating from Cranwell having gaining her commission is one of her personal highlights. She says, "The camaraderie within the Royal Air Force is what makes the job so enjoyable; throughout working long shifts, being away from home, dealing with setbacks and losses, it is the personnel who I work alongside that make the hard days entirely worth it."
Bethany is an Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic who specialises in avionics and has completed several operational tours in Afghanistan with the Chinook Force. "My favourite part of the RAF is most definitely being part of sport teams. I have been lucky enough to go to some fantastic overseas training camps and competitions with the RAF Swim Team."