Monday 21st September 2020

Keeping Aircraft in the sky has been the principle for all 36 years of Royal Air Force Wittering Warrant Officer Jacqueline Harrison’s military career.

Proudly a supplier for all those years, today (Friday 18th September) Mrs Harrison retired from the RAF after a long and distinguished career. Jacqueline Harrison joined the Royal Air Force in 1984 and began her basic training at RAF Swinderby, before moving to her supply training at RAF Hereford.

After a brief spell in sixth form and then working in the civilian world on the youth training scheme, Mrs Harrison chose a career in the RAF. She had the unquestioning support of both parents but confesses that she no idea which trade to choose.

Jacqueline said:

“My mum and dad met while my dad was in the RAF. He was an armourer, so they didn’t bat an eyelid when I told them I wanted to join, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

A career in logistics and supply was the right choice and Mrs Harrison has made sustained contributions to Defence and the Royal Air Force throughout her 36 years. She has served in the Middle-East on numerous occasions and three times in the Falkland Islands, but Afghanistan remains a defining experience.

Mrs Harrison said:

“What I’d been trained to do, all the expertise and knowledge were used for their true purpose; keeping those aircraft in the sky.”

Warrant Officer Harrison concludes her long and successful career as the Squadron Warrant Officer for No 1 Expeditionary Logistics (EL) Squadron. It is a demanding role requiring a detailed knowledge of logistics, and the people skills needed to maintain discipline and standards on a day-to-day basis.

Squadron Leader Tony O’Neill is Officer Commanding 1EL Sqn. He said:

“For over 6 years Mrs Harrison has given an honest perspective, based on her years of logistics experience and without doubt she has provided the foundation that 1 EL Sqn is built up on. She has been the best Warrant Officer I have worked with since I joined the RAF.”

As to the future, Mrs Harrison is working towards her level three practitioner qualification with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Her advice to those at the beginning of their RAF careers is simple: “Take every opportunity that is thrown at you.”

Wing Commander Wayne Tracey commands No 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing, of which 1EL Squadron is a part. He said:

“Mrs Harrison leaves the RAF after a long, demanding and successful career. She epitomises the role of a WO, where her exacting standards, example and empathy will be much missed by all those she has served alongside. I wish her all the very best for her future.”

Group Captain Jo Lincoln, Station Commander at RAF Wittering, said:

“It is only right that we thank WO Harrison for her service. Mrs Harrison is the definition of an exemplary Squadron Warrant Officer and I know that she has been invaluable to her chain of command and that many of us will sorely miss her expertise and knowledge.”

Images ©Crown Copyright 2020

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