Commendation for successful Warrant Officer

Warrant Officer Mick Thomsen receives his award from Station Commander Group Captain Paul Atkinson.
Warrant Officer Mick Thomsen receives his award from Station Commander Group Captain Paul Atkinson.

A MAN serving in the RAF has been recognised for his outstanding achievement.

Warrant Officer Mick Thomsen was recently presented with the Royal Warrant after attaining the highest non-commissioned rank within the RAF.

The award, also known as Her Majesty the Queen’s warrant, is presented to only the most senior of this officer type with the coveted position. It is signed off by the Secretary of State for Defence.

Warrant Officer Thomsen joined the RAF in 1992 and is currently serving at its facility in Boulmer near Alnwick.

He is a keen sportsman and is a member of the Morpeth Harriers athletics club. He has represented the RAF at running, cross country skiing and hockey and has recently competed at international level for running in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International in Cardiff.

The 39-year-old is an Aerospace Battle Manager (ABM) in the Control and Reporting Centre.

ABMs use sophisticated computers to track any aircraft, missiles and satellites that might pose a threat. They specialise either in surveillance or in weapons control, directing RAF aircraft in both offensive and defensive roles.

He was presented with his award by RAF Boulmer’s Station Commander, Group Captain Paul Atkinson, who said: “Many congratulations on receiving your Royal Warrant – this is the pinnacle of your career and you have come a long way very quickly.

“You have achieved great success, not only in your primary role, but also with regard to your sporting achievements and you are an excellent ambassador for the Royal Air Force.”

Warrant Officer Thomsen, who lives in Stakeford with his wife Jane, has been posted throughout the UK and has also completed tours of Afghanistan and the Falkland Islands.

He said: “It is an honour for me to receive my Royal Warrant today and I look forward to future challenges.”

RAF Boulmer is the hub of the Air Surveillance and Control System and its key mission is UK air defence.

Its personnel use ground-based military and civilian radars to compile a Recognised Air Picture within NATO Air Policing Area 1 – an area of one million square miles.

Its Control and Reporting Centre is manned 24/7 by RAF ABMs and Aerospace Systems Operators, who are responsible for the detection and identification of aircraft within that area.

They warn of suspicious airborne activity, supporting NATO and UK national Quick Reaction Alert procedures.