P&J Recruitment hears from Senior Aircraftman Jordan Murray-Patel.
SAC Jordan Murray-Patel is only 24 but is already finding that a career in the Royal Air Force has meant responsibility early – he is part of the team at RAF Lossiemouth that keeps the Typhoon jets flying in their role defending the United Kingdom’s airspace.
Growing up in Buckie, Jordan always had an interest in engineering, and after finishing at Buckie High School, his passion for robotics led to gaining an HND in Mechatronics at Moray College.
After leaving college and working for a while in a supermarket, he decided that he wanted more of a challenge and, as the son of an RAF airman, Jordan always saw it as a possible career and one that would suit his technical qualification.
Despite a choice of more than 50 different roles, including 21 with OFSTED-approved apprenticeships, Jordan had to make a choice.
“I applied online as a weapon technician which really appealed as it ties in with a lot of what I studied at college and would give me the opportunity to work with aircraft,” Jordan said.
Like everyone who joins the RAF, Jordan had to go through a selection process and then complete his basic and specialist training.
“Basic training was really enjoyable and I made some friends for life. My specialist training was when things got really interesting as I enjoy studying. The course was 15 months at RAF Cosford near Birmingham and it was very much a case of learning, but still having fun at the same time, which sums up my experience of life in the RAF so far,” he said.
Jordan has been impressed with the opportunities the RAF is giving him to gain additional civilian-recognised qualifications.
“My specialist course along with my ongoing training means I’ll be awarded an NVQ Level 3 in Aeronautical Engineering and I plan to continue my studies for a degree which the RAF will help me to fund. I’ve even had my driving licence paid for while doing this job.”
After completing his training, Jordan arrived at RAF Lossiemouth last September where he works as a weapon technician in the Explosives Storage Area. Weapon technicians have a diverse range of responsibilities from arming aircraft with bombs and missiles to maintaining ejection seats and servicing rifles and machine guns.
Asked about his typical day and the skills required for his job, Jordan said: “The day can be quite varied, anything from issuing and receiving ammunition to preparing the bombs and missiles that the jets are armed with. You need to be a real people person as we work as a tightly knit team with a whole range of personalities. My role demands that you’re technically minded with a good balance of common sense and the ability to solve problems when required.”
The RAF has contributed to his personal development. He said: “I feel that both my ability to work in a team and my leadership skills have really come on and I was proud to receive an award for teamwork during my specialist training at RAF Cosford.”
Like many, Jordan was attracted to a career in the RAF due to the lifestyle on offer. Jordan said: “The sports and adventurous training available really appealed. I’ve been pursuing an interest in sub-aqua and there’s the opportunity to go ski-ing coming up soon. RAF Lossiemouth, like most of the big bases, has a whole range of sports clubs and activities on offer. We even get to use the gym twice a week during work hours as fitness is seen as an important part of service life.”
Asked whether he’s had much opportunity to see the world yet, Jordan said: “I’m off to Virginia in the States soon for six weeks to be part of a training exercise that some of our Typhoon jets are taking part in.”
When asked what advice he would give to any young people considering joining, Jordan said: “There’s so much on offer; you don’t just join to do the job you apply for. With the RAF you’re getting a lifestyle which is so much more, it’s been a real eye opener for me and I have no regrets making that decision.”
The Royal Air Force is currently offering a career in a wide range of roles. More information is available online at www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment, alternatively visit the RAF Careers Office on Belmont Street in Aberdeen, or Bridge Street, Inverness.