Four students from 750 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall, have become the first to graduate from a training course on the Royal Navy's newest aircraft, the King Air Avenger.
Lieutenant Mark Finnie,27, Lieutenant Keith Webb, 27, Lieutenant Alan 'AJ' McInnes ,28, and Sub-Lieutenant Tom Wilson, 26, passed the 16 week Basic Flying Training course last month.
They can now begin their operational training on the Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control helicopter, Merlin Anti-Submarine helicopter or Lynx Maritime Attack helicopter.
The course is part of the ground breaking Military Flying Training System which is aimed at improving the flying pipeline for all military aviators.
The new Avenger is a twin turbo-prop aircraft with a state-of-the-art mission system and extended range.
Lt Webb said: "Military aviation is a challenging profession, which makes success in this service all the more satisfying." Lt McInnes thought the course was "one of the toughest hurdles I have ever faced".
The training for the four has been rigorous and demanding. After being selected from the many who apply to fly for the Navy, they have undertaken officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, as well as the Basic Flying Training course at 750 Naval Air Squadron – reputed to be one of the toughest in the Royal Navy.
Here they have learned to take command of an aircraft, and on occasion several aircraft, to achieve a mission safely.