I served in the Royal Air Force as an Armourer from 1980-2011 with 25 of those years at 1st Line on Buccaneer S2B & Hunter T7, Tornado GR1 & GR1A and Harrier GR7 / T10 aircraft. The main task as a Squadron Armourer is the fitment / removal of AAES and associated components, as well as the dis-arming / re-arming of said items.
My time on operational squadrons took me to many places around the world, with occasions I can recall where both a Mk10A and a Mk12 Ejection Seat successfully saved the life of the occupants. Whether or not they were seats I had fitted, I still took immense satisfaction in the part I played ensuring that they would work as advertised should the need arise.
During my time on Harriers, I got to experience life onboard HMS Illustrious alongside our counterparts in the Fleet Air Arm and following on from this I was involved in the introduction of an Ejection Seat Training Rig in the Harrier Maintenance School, to teach future maintainers within Joint Force Harrier.
I am forever grateful of the opportunities my career afforded me, particularly the many times working on a variety of Martin-Baker Ejection Seats and take personal pride in the fact I’ve been able to play a small part in the successful evolution of saving lives.