RAF: First female aircraft technician promoted to Warrant Officer

raf first female

Flight Sergeant Karen Pinnion is to be the first female in her trade promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer.

Karen joined the Service in October 1983 and during her 32-year engineering career has worked on the Gazelle, Wessex, Jaguar, Hercules, Puma and Tornado aircraft. She has served at various stations across the UK and in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Falkland Islands, Kenya and Belize.

Since 2011 Karen has worked as the Training Supervisor on Mechanical Training Flight at RAF Cosford, responsible for the day-to-day management of training, welfare and discipline of personnel within the Flight. Karen said of her career: ‘The RAF has given me the opportunity to fulfill my ambition to work in an engineering environment, travel and see the world and to further my education to gain a BSc (Hons) in Engineering.’

Karen has continually made an exceptional contribution to the wider aspects of Service life. She has served on several Sergeants’ Mess committees and chaired Cosford’s Junior Ranks’ Club. She has been an ambassador for both the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) organisations as well as assisting with adult numeracy and literacy classes in the local community.

Wing Commander Chris Jones, OC No 1 School of Technical Training, welcomed her promotion, saying: ‘Karen Pinnion is a shining example to all engineers who wish to make it to the top of their respective organisations. No1 School of Technical Training is immensely proud of her achievement and she has shown that the sky is the limit for all engineers, including young women who are embarking on an engineering career.’

Karen’s advice to those embarking upon their RAF careers is simple. ‘Maintain a sense of humour and give your best. Get involved, join clubs, get what education you can and, most importantly of all, enjoy yourself.’

Flight Sergeant Pinnion will be posted on promotion to the Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation at RAF Northolt in November.

Source: RAF
Editor: Sqn Ldr Wilson
Photograph:Flight Sergeant Karen Pinnion No 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford.

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