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Hugh McCluskie

Aeronautical Engineering

McCluskie joined the RAF in Aug 2002 as an Engineering (AeroSystems) Officer. As an AeroSystems Engineer McCluskie could be responsible for numerous aircraft related systems and he has worked predominately Armament arena, along with aircraft roles on Chinook and Merlin Helicopters. Spending the majority of his career in the Armament’s world in varied roles; such as the Operations Officer on 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron, EOD trials, HQ DEMSS, HQ Air Command Explosive Safety and Licensing and including operations in Afghanistan. Now serving at Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, RAF Cosford, training personnel for aircraft trade-related management roles and newly commissioned Engineering Officers.

Hugh McCluskie
Training Weapons Technicians for a 5th Gen Air Force

The role of an RAF Weapons Technician, better known as an armourer is varied and can range from Small Arms Maintenance right up to working on the RAF’s newest aircraft the F35 Lightning 2. How do we train and an armourer to work in a varied career stream with the strong theme of explosive safety and ensuring that operational output is achieved? Can we train our personnel better using blended learning, augmented reality and taking best practises from the civilian world. With weapons becoming more all up rounds, we are very reliant on our industry partners.

However, when that AUR fails we need an experienced technical individual who can solve the problem. Our training develops an engineer who is capable of understanding the weapon system, delivery platform, and its operational effects in order to have a holistic view of the problem and not focus solely on the weapons system. This will be highlighted through a case study. Through life training and continuous personnel development is key and the presentation will highlight those options open to our personnel to ensure that we maintain the operational capability and output of a 5th generation air force whilst ensuring safety, airworthiness and the utmost professionalism.