Sultan trainee Air Engineers start blogging

I am Sub Lieutenant Jack Longstaff and I am currently undertaking my Air Engineer Officer (AEO) training with the Royal Navy. Over the next year I hope to give you an insight into life at HMS Sultan undertaking the Systems Engineering and Management Course for Air Engineers, known as SEMC(AE).

Originally from Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, after finishing my A Levels I moved to Loughborough where I studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering; graduating in 2012. After university I spent a few years working in industry before joining the Royal Navy (RN) in May 2014.

Having completed Initial Officer Training (IOT) at BRNC Dartmouth, I have now begun my specialist training to become a future Air Engineer Officer (AEO).

By the end of SEMC(AE) myself and my course colleagues will have completed studies in aircraft technical systems and aerodynamics, squadron and maintenance management, aviation policy and regulation, plus much, much more.  

I am thoroughly looking forward to my year at Sultan and I’ll do my best to give you a good insight into my experiences along the way!

Over the past 12 weeks, me and 1O other Young Officers (YOs) have been on board HMS Ocean completing Specialist Fleet Time (SFT), designed to familiarise future Air Engineer Officers (AEOs) with the maritime aviation environment. 

Now with our feet back on dry land, we begin our next challenge, starting the first of our specialist training courses at the Royal Navy Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS) located at HMS Sultan.

Over the next year I hope to give you an insight into life at HMS Sultan undertaking the Systems Engineering and Management Course for Air Engineers

Sub Lieutenant Jack Longstaff, trainee Air Engineer Officer

The Systems Engineering Management Course (Air Engineering) (SEMC(AE)) is a 44 week long course (equivalent of a full academic year) that will ultimately prepare us for our first Squadron jobs.

With only a weekend between to the two courses, our first job was to move into the base Wardroom, the place where we will sleep, eat, study and socialise over the coming year.

The first week on SEMC(AE) was inevitably a busy one, with numerous joining briefs which included each of us giving a ‘2 minute dit’, a short introduction about ourselves to the all of the course staff; a traditional thing to do when starting in a new workplace in the RN.  

We also met the course staff in a more informal manner over welcomes drinks and dinner in the Wardroom on the first evening, giving us a brief insight into the fantastic social aspects of life at Sultan.

Wednesday afternoon (which is set aside for sports every week!) gave us the opportunity to take part in a base-wide fitness competition designed by Sultan’s Physical Training Instructors (PTIs). 

We entered as an SEMC(AE) team and, along with others from the various Air Engineering courses taught at RNAESS, competed against the Marine Engineers also located at Sultan.  

The competitiveness between the Air and Marine Engineers was fierce and the event turned out to be great fun; even more so when it was announced that we had come top out of 16 groups entered!

The last two days of the week were spent in the classroom starting our first module, Power Generation & Distribution, the first of many that will eventually lead to our final Air Engineer Qualifying Board (AEQB) in just under a year’s time.  

All of us are looking forward to the course and getting back in the books, and I know that I for one am extremely excited about the challenges that SEMC will bring.

Yours Aye,

Jack