Whether it’s the people you work with, the customer, or the daily demands of your role, it is rare that two days are ever the same. Inzpire prides itself on innovation, flexibility and going the extra mile to meet what the customer needs; not just what they have contracted us for. My year has demonstrated this willingness to go the extra mile perfectly. I joined Inzpire in early 2014 as a C2 (Command and Control) & Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) expert within the Synthetics Division. Since that day, my role and my working environment have changed on a number of occasions as I have taken on new challenges and responded to the needs of the customer. None more so than this year.
At the start of this year, I had just left 29(R) Sqn, where I had been a member of the Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) staff having implemented the start of a new contract providing support to Ex TRIPLEX WARRIOR - the practical phase of the Typhoon QWI course. I returned to the Synthetics Division at the Air Battlespace Training Centre (ABTC), eager to pass on my experiences to my colleagues and ensure that all of my recent knowledge could be used in future exercises. Very quickly I was asked to support the RAF C2 team from RAF Scampton as a C2 mentor on Ex RED FLAG, in Las Vegas. It was a tough decision to deploy for 3 weeks to such austere conditions, but I took one for the team and made myself available. I found myself back on old ground, just like I had never left the RAF! I was passing on all my knowledge of RED FLAG and the essential C2 processes that needed to be completed in order to ensure mission success for the team. This was a demonstration of the Whole Force Concept at its best. The team from Scampton embraced me as one of their own, and collectively we ensured that every member of the team got the most out one of the World’s most demanding exercises in very difficult professional and social circumstances!
On my return from Las Vegas, an opportunity arose to move Divisions and provide support to 92(R) Sqn at the RAF Air Warfare Centre (AWC) as a member of Inzpire's Aviation Experts Division, providing live exercise support to the front line, and most notably delivering Ex COBRA WARRIOR - the RAF headline exercise. I took the opportunity that had come my way and moved a short distance across the base from the ABTC to the AWC.
Some of my colleagues briefing during Ex COBRA WARRIOR - I think I was the other side of the Pond at this point!
However, I had only been there a day when I was asked if I would mind going back to Las Vegas to support the first RAF QWI course for the MQ-9 Reaper. Yet again, someone had to do it….But what do I know about about the Reaper?! As a C2 SME my only experience was working alongside them on Operations. My responsibility was to build synthetic scenarios that would allow them to train in realistic environments and challenge the crews as a QWI course should. Thankfully I had 2 years of synthetic experience to draw on plus my time spent with colleagues from almost every platform within the RAF (past and present!).
Hastily, I packed my bags and within a few weeks I was back in the same austere conditions just off the Las Vegas strip and working from Creech AFB. This gave me the challenge that I referred to at the start of this blog. I had to provide a scenario on equipment I was not familiar with; to a platform I had limited knowledge of; at a location that I hadn't been to before. The team ethos of the Company and the breadth of experience meant that I was never alone, and I could draw on the experience of a number of people to ensure we delivered the product that the customer expected and needed to ensure that their students got the most out of their training. After 3 weeks of all work and no play (well, maybe a little) I returned back to the day job….. or so I thought.
Enjoying some well-earned downtime on one of my many trips this year.
On my return there was another request to head back State-side and deliver the next phase of the MQ-9 QWI course I had just left….Ok then, if you insist.. another 3 weeks in Vegas! But this time the challenge had increased. Whilst this time I was familiar with the equipment, the location and now the platform, the demands on the students had increased therefore the demand on my colleagues and I to produce better scenarios had too. This work proved some of the most rewarding I have done and challenged me at every stage. The work we delivered was also noticed by the US Air Force and we helped develop new tactics for the MQ-9 through briefing, providing challenging scenarios and debriefing to ensure the students got the most out of their time in the simulators.
On my return back to the UK, life returned to a steadier pace and after some time off I returned to deliver Ex COBRA WARRIOR as part of 92(R) Sqn. Producing exercises in a live environment has very unique challenges that you can’t always control, unlike the simulator! Again this proved challenging and rewarding - watching guys & girls you had worked with throughout the year standing up as Mission and Package Commanders and carrying out tasks to a QWI standard. It’s at that point you realise why we do what we do. At Inzpire, we stay flexible, respond to our customers' needs and go the extra mile because we know why it’s important. We believe in what they do and as a result we ensure that the training we provide is of the highest quality.
Inzpire has allowed me to do different things, work in areas I am not necessarily familiar with and challenge myself. Most of all, the company belief in mission command and trusting individuals has helped me realise that we are capable of so much more than just our own specialisation. The team around you are key and you are never alone at Inzpire. So, if you like variety, a challenge and working around experts, Inzpire is most definitely the place to be, as I said at the start there is never a dull day (or year!) here...!
This collaboration will see QinetiQ, Inzpire, and Naimuri work with the University of Lincoln to maximise capabilities in artificial intelligence
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