Armed Forces Day

28 June 2024

As we approach Armed Forces Day this coming Saturday, we wanted to share some personal reflections from ex-Forces members of the AERALIS team.

Without doubt, Armed Forces veterans have made AERALIS what it is today – not just a pioneering, innovative proposition to defence aerospace and digital engineering, but an acutely relevant solution for the challenges of modern air forces; available, affordable, adaptable capability.

Their insights, wisdom and extraordinary depth of experience have been instrumental in ensuring AERALIS can meet the needs of, and shape, future air force fleets and how they operate.

The training and operational needs of Royal Air Force crews are at the heart of AERALIS’s mission, and the dedication of our serving men, women and cadets, continues to inspire us.

Please read on to hear from just a few of the veterans on the AERALIS team:

David Townsend
“Serving as a Royal Naval Officer has been an immense honour and privilege. Throughout my tenure with the Armed Forces, I witnessed firsthand the unwavering dedication, resilience, and camaraderie that define military service.

This experience instilled in me a profound sense of duty and commitment to protecting our nation’s values and interests. The service life has not only shaped me as a leader but also enriched my understanding of the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform. It’s a journey that has made me the person I am proud to be today.”

Archie Neill
“It was an honour to serve as a Royal Air Force officer and an extreme privilege to work as a fighter pilot, instructor and display pilot in a variety of operational and domestic arenas.  However, my lasting memories are of the extraordinary people I was lucky enough to operate alongside. 

High degrees of trust and teamwork, particularly in many high-stakes environments, created a culture of accountability, mutual respect and a joint sense of purpose – ensuring effective performance and safety throughout the whole organisation. It was also tremendous fun.”

Matt Powlson
“The variety, responsibilities and challenges throughout my 20 years as an Engineering Officer were enormously rewarding – both personally and technically.

The camaraderie, teamwork and professionalism of everyone with whom it was my privilege to serve was exemplary.”

Simon Chelton
“Serving in the Armed Forces was a privilege and an honour, both to contribute to the country’s safety and to have the professional rewards that come when working with highly skilled and motivated personnel who regularly put the interests of their colleagues and their country above their own.

For me, serving in ships and submarines was a joy and my later career, mainly ashore, also gave me great satisfaction.”