Air Operations 20190528-PUB790_AirOperations - Page 17

“ I ’ VE ALREADY SEEN A LOT OF THE WORLD AND I ’ VE MADE FRIENDS FOR LIFE ”
ON THE JOB WEAPONS CONTROLLER
MATTHEW
Matthew is a Air Operations Control ( Sergeant ) specialising in Weapons Control ( WC ). Currently working on 54 Sqn – the ISTAR Operational Conversion Unit – he is a member of the team responsible for training qualified WCs to work on board the E-3D Sentry Airborne Early Warning aircraft .
“ As a WC you are employed to provide tactical control of fast jets , be that at a Control and Reporting Centre or , like me , on board the E-3D which is able to fly over the battlespace away from the coverage of ground-based radars . I spent the majority of last year flying over the Middle East controlling the airspace above Syria , directing fast jets and unmanned air systems of both the UK and the Multi-National Coalition ensuring they could effectively carry out their mission and , where necessary , undertake air-to-air refuelling to enhance their time on task .
As an instructor my typical day can include anything from delivering theory lessons which are then applied in a simulated airborne environment , to being airborne with my students who are controlling live aircraft on training sorties . Being able to share my experience and knowledge with my students is the best part of the job for me . Since graduating as a WC in 2014 I have deployed on Exercises all over the world in places such as Canada , Oman , New Mexico and Las Vegas , as well as on Operations in the Middle East . As a WC on board the E-3D you need to be dynamic and
react quickly to different situations . On exercises , I have dealt with scenarios involving the command of missions to rescue downed aircrew , controlling deep strike missions in contested airspace and managing multiple-aircraft sorties to ensure control of the air by countering an enemy air threat . I like the variety that life in the RAF offers ; variety of jobs that I can undertake , variety of places it allows me to visit , and the variety of people it employs . I ’ ve already seen a lot of the world and I ’ ve made friends for life .”
17