A Female Leading Airman Aircraft Handler has become the first to qualify for Petty Officer and be promoted in her branch at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
It wasn’t the job I’d said I wanted to do, nor is there a military tradition in my family but I wanted something different, exciting and challenging.
Leading Airman Jo Barlow.
Leading Airman Jo Barlow completed her Petty Officers Qualifying Course (POQC) in January 2014 after a four month demanding and exhaustive training course at the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations (RNSFDO), and home of Aircraft Handling and Fire Fighting in the Fleet Air Arm.
Presenting her with her coveted Badge and certificate was Commander Air and Training at RNAS Culdrose, Commander Peter Munro-Lott.
“It’s always a great honour to present Leading Hands with their qualifying badges,” said CDR Munro-Lott.
Jo completed her Naval Airman Qualifying Course (NAQC) in June 2002 and spent a short time at RNAS Yeovilton Fire Station before joining HMS Ark.
“My family were very proud and somewhat shocked when I joined the Royal Navy when I was 17,” said Jo.
“It wasn’t the job I’d said I wanted to do, nor is there a military tradition in my family but I wanted something different, exciting and challenging.”
And Jo certainly has the future in mind for her next job.
“I join HMS Illustrious as the ‘Petty Officer of the deck’. It’s going to be a full-on programme for the next year.
“It’s going to be very competitive amongst all the Petty Officers in the Aircraft Handlers Branch. I’m very proud to be the first female Senior Rate in the Branch and even prouder to be able to finally answer a question my Nan asked me as I passed out of basic training at HMS Raleigh.
“She asked ‘When do you get the uniform with gold buttons?’ and I can finally say, now!”
Well done Jo.