A VERWOOD woman has become one of the first female RAF Regiment Officers to have completed a 25-week course and graduate.

Flying Officer Emma Graves graduated at RAF Honington, Suffolk and is one of 13 Junior Officers to have successfully completed the training.

The 22-year-old said the Junior Regiment Officers’ Course had been “tough, but thanks to the experience of the instructors and the great camaraderie of fellow course mates, it had on the whole been an enjoyable course”.

Emma was an air cadet prior to joining the RAF. She said: “One of the biggest things I did, as a cadet, that led me to wanting to join the RAF Regiment was the Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course.

“It not only taught me about leadership, fieldcraft and military skills, but it also gave me the confidence in myself that I could achieve more than I thought I could.”

Each graduate will now be posted to one of the RAF Regiment’s Field Squadrons where they will lead RAF Regiment gunners.

Reviewing Officer RAF Force Protection Force Commander, Commandant General Royal Air Force Regiment, Air Officer RAF Police, Air Commodore Scott Miller said: “The Junior RAF Regiment Officers’ Course is exceptionally challenging and its standards are unremitting. Those graduating, including our first female officers, have demonstrated exceptional skill, fortitude and resilience, and I am proud to welcome them into our Corps. They have earned their right to wear the RAF Regiment ‘mudguard’ and to join our frontline.

“Here they will lead RAF Regiment gunners, exceptional men and women, on a vitally important mission to enable the RAF and its Air and Space Power in the face of adversity and threats. Demanding but hugely varied and rewarding careers await them.”