Engineering Management

Engineering management

Senior Engineer Officer - Squadron Leader Rich Bland

2017 SEngO

Rich, 36, is the Senior Engineer Officer on the Red Arrows and has responsibility for all engineering and logistical matters for the team. Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Rich was educated at Spalding Grammar School before studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southampton. He joined the Royal Air Force in 2003 graduating from Engineer Specialist Training in 2005.

He was initially posted to RAF Wyton and worked in the Tornado Integrated Project Team. From there, he completed back-to-back tours at RAF Leuchars as the Officer Commanding Armament Engineering Flight, then as the Junior Engineer Officer on 111 (Fighter) Squadron, supporting Tornado F3 in its Northern QRA role and participating in exercises in North America, Europe and the UK.

Following this, he spent four months in Kandahar, Afghanistan as the Detachment Armament Officer, before being posted to High Wycombe as the fast jet exercise planning specialist within Headquarters Air Command. Here he assessed numerous foreign military air bases around the World and determined engineering requirements for each exercise location. He subsequently joined the Typhoon Project Team at Abbey Wood as the Engineering Authority for Typhoon Aerospace Ground Equipment, ensuring that sufficient range and scale of equipment was available and fit for purpose to support the Typhoon Force, investigating fault trends and modifying equipment in conjunction with aircraft upgrades.

Prior to joining the Red Arrows, Rich spent three years working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a Typhoon and Weapons engineering advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force. He now lives at Scampton with his wife, daughter and their two beagles. He enjoys windsurfing, snowboarding and playing golf.

Junior Engineer Officer - Flight Lieutenant Alicia (Lissy) Mason

2017 JEngO

Lissy, 35, is the Junior Engineer Officer on the Red Arrows and has responsibility for all engineering issues and the Circus Team.

Educated at Croham Hurst School, South Croydon she was also an active member of the Air Training Corps (1924 (Shirley) Squadron), where she reached the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer. Lissy went onto gain a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering with Power/Aerospace from the University of Surrey, Guildford.

Following her degree, Lissy joined the RAF and graduated from Engineer Specialist Training in 2005. Her first tour was as Officer Commanding Engineering Support Flight before assuming the post of Officer Commanding Maintenance Support Flight at RAF Aldergrove supporting Operation Banner.

Wanting to explore the world further, she volunteered for a tour on Operation Herrick in Kandahar, Afghanistan as Executive Officer to Commander Kandahar Airfield working with NATO forces. On returning to the UK, she took up post as the Junior Engineering Officer on 29 (Reserve) Squadron - the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Coningsby, which is responsible for the technical and tactical training of all engineers and pilots for the Typhoon aircraft.

In 2009 she moved to the Mechanical Systems desk for the Harrier Engineering Authority prior to its withdrawal from Service. Here she divided her time between the aircraft’s main operating base at RAF Cottesmore and the Defence Equipment and Support Team’s headquarters at RAF Wyton. 2011 was time for a new challenge away from trade so Lissy was selected as the Aide-de-Camp for Air Officer Commanding Number 22 (Training) Group responsible for the recruitment, selection, initial and professional training of RAF personnel as well as providing technical training for the Army and Royal Navy. Following this post, Lissy volunteered for a further tour in Afghanistan, this time working with the US Marine Corps in Regional Command (Southwest) Headquarters in Camp Leatherneck.

Lissy returned to Lincolnshire to RAF Waddington where she provided engineering support to Number 1 Group Force Headquarters for 5 Squadron (Sentinel aircraft) and 8 Squadron (Sentry) operations. After some Group restructuring, she moved to the Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation at Waddington remaining on the Sentinel and Sentry desks. Missing the sunshine, Lissy volunteered for another overseas tour, this time at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as Officer Commanding Engineering and Logistics Flight supporting 901 Expeditionary Air Wing and 83 Expeditionary Air Group Headquarters. 2017 is Lissy’s first year on RAFAT as the Junior Engineering Officer and Circus 1.

Lissy lives in Stamford,Lincolnshire and is a keen snowboarder who has represented the RAF at the Inter Services Championships since 2012. She is also a fan of the performing arts and has treaded the boards at many RAF and civilian theatres and will regularly be seen behind the microphone, singing with any band that will let her. Her highlights have included performing in Macbeth as part of the RSC Open Stages Programme at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon and singing with her band in Covent Garden as part of the annual Poppy Day Appeal Launch.

Officer Commanding Engineering Support Flight - Flying Officer Chloe Sainsbury

2017 OC ESF Chloe, 23, is the Engineer Support Officer on the Red Arrows. 2017 is Chloe’s first year on the team. Her role involves combining logistic, engineering support and safety elements.

Born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and educated at Springwood High School and Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College, Chloe went onto gain a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering from Newcastle University. Whilst there, she regularly competed in orienteering events.

Following her degree, Chloe commenced Initial Officer Training and then Engineering Officer Foundation Training, graduating in 2017 before moving to Scampton. This is Chloe’s first posting and she is looking forward to the challenges it brings.

Warrant Officer Engineering - Warrant Officer Gary Smith

WO Gary Smith

As the senior engineer SNCO, Gary is responsible for the management, discipline and welfare of the Team and is a mentor for the junior officers.

He is an Aircraft Engineering Technician, whose legacy trade is Avionics.

Gary joined the Royal Air Force in 1983 as a Flight Systems mechanic with subsequent postings to 56 Squadron, RAF Wattisham and Nimrod Line Squadron, RAF Kinloss. Following further technician training at RAF Cosford, he again returned to Kinloss.

He was promoted to Corporal in Sep 90 and posted to Germany on the Harrier GR5/7, firstly at RAF Gutersloh then RAF Laarbruch. His overseas deployments included Operation Warden and numerous Harrier Force exercises.

Returning to the UK, he enjoyed two assignments with 51 Squadron, RAF Waddington. Promoted to Sergeant in December 1997 and remaining on the Squadron, he served detachments in Bosnia/Kosovo, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Pinden, Operation Veritas and Operation Argentic and awarded an AOC Commendation.

On promotion to Chief Technician, he was tasked to set up a new Aircraft TEMPEST Test Team at RAF Odiham, testing aircraft secure communications in the midlands and south locations for operational duties.

In August 2005 he was successfully selected for an overseas tour at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, USA. He was embedded in the maintenance unit of the United States Air Force (USAF) working on the Predator UAS and introducing the Reaper UAS into Service . He completed two operational tours with the USAF at Kandahar (Afghanistan) with Predator and Ballad (Iraq) with the Reaper. Recognised for his work, he was awarded CinC Air Commendation.

On promotion to Flight Sergeant in 2009, he returned to the UK to lead a shift of engineers on the Sentry aircraft, 8 Squadron, RAF Waddington. Supporting many deployments as the Engineering Officer, his highlights included Exercise Indra Danush (India), Exercise Maple Flag (Canada), Operation Ellamy and Operation Olympics.

In 2012 after a successful first line tour, he moved into the Air Warfare Centre. Heavily engaged in the provision of Electronic Warfare Data to all military platforms, he led a Quality Assurance team as the QSC.

Promoted to Warrant Officer in June 2014, he was posted to RAF Coningsby. As an integral member of the Typhoon Joint Performance Management Team, he was involved in the contract monitoring for Typhoon Depth maintenance between Industry and Ministry of Defence.

Before joing the Squadron in July 15, he completed a five month tour in the Falkland Islands.

He was born in 1965 in Birmingham and is married to Maria, with one daughter. He enjoys keeping fit, watching Wolves FC, gardening and is a member of the historic aircraft engineering team at York Air Museum.

Flight Sergeant Engineering - Flight Sergeant Laurie Pack

FS Pack

Laurie, 48, lives in Rutland and is responsible for coordinating the engineering aspects of the support team.

He joined the RAF in 1984 as an Airframes Mechanic and has maintained most variants of Phantom, Tornado, Harrier, Puma and Typhoon aircraft whilst serving on a number of frontline Squadrons.

During the earlier part of his career, he completed three tours of Germany and numerous overseas detachments, returning to the UK in 1999 on the closure of RAF Laarburch. He returned to RAF Cottesmore, serving on IV(AC) Squadron Harrier where he deployed on a number of operations, both on land and at sea.

On promotion in 2007, he was posted to 230 Squadron Puma at RAF Aldergrove taking part in exercises in Kenya and operations in Iraq where he was part of the team that closed the Puma detachment in Baghdad. In 2009, on return from Northern Ireland, he was posted to XI Squadron Typhoon supporting QRA activity in the UK. There were many highlights to this tour, including detachments to the USA, the Middle East and India as well as deployments in Italy and the 2012 Olympics based out of RAF Northolt in London

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