RAF

RAF Regiment's First Female Officers Graduate

The pair have completed an "exceptionally challenging" 25-week course before graduating from Suffolk's RAF Honington.

The first female RAF Regiment officers have graduated from RAF Honington after the corps opened up roles to women in September 2017.

Flying Officer Emma Graves, 22, and Flying Officer Juliette Abson, 26, completed the 25-week course to become two of just 13 Junior Officers passing through as the latest members of the specialist force.

The cohort has successfully completed three modules over the last six months: Basic Soldiering, Basic Command and Advanced Command.

Trained in a range of roles, from Gunner to Flight Commander, the graduates are now prepared for their first tour of duty within the Complex Air Ground Environment (CAGE) - the primary focus of the Force Protection offered by the RAF Regiment.

Fg Off Graves said she had developed her "leadership, fieldcraft and military skills" following her time on the Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course.

She added the gruelling course was made enjoyable by "great camaraderie of fellow course mates".

Fg Off Abson, from a military family, encouraged others considering a role in the corps to "speak to as many people as possible".

"Then if it is what you want, go for it and don't let anyone’s opinions hold you back," the 26-year-old from Hereford said.

The pair will now be posted to one of the RAF Regiment's Field Squadrons to lead a gunner unit. 

Flying Officer Emma Graves is one of two female RAF Regiment officers to graduate so far (Picture: RAF).

Founded in 1942, the RAF Regiment has seven regular and six reserve squadrons spread across seven wings, while also supporting the British Army, Royal Marines and Special Forces.

Six Force Protection Wings are based in the UK - working with aircraft, military working dogs and armoured vehicles.

Reviewing Officer RAF Force Protection Force Commander, Commandant General Royal Air Force Regiment, Air Officer RAF Police, Air Commodore Scott Miller said: "The Junior RAF Regiment Officers’ Course is exceptionally challenging and its standards are unremitting.

"Those graduating today, including our first female officers, have demonstrated exceptional skill, fortitude and resilience, and I am proud to welcome them into our Corps.

"They have earned their right to wear the RAF Regiment ‘mudguard’ and to join our frontline."

Cover image: Flying Officer Juliette Abson (Picture: RAF).