RAF Cranwell graduates take top honours

Two serving officers from the Defence College of Logistics at RAF Cranwell recently took top honours after graduating from the University of Lincoln. Wing Commander (wg Cdr) Andrew Hawker (44) and Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Hannah Parr (34) are the first two students to have graduated from the Air Logistics Staff Course (ALSC) at Masters’ level and both with Distinction. This was a notable achievement especially for Sqn Ldr Parr who was awarded the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply prize for the best dissertation of 2010. The external academic examiner also considered both dissertations worthy of underpinning a PhD thesis.

“I was not ready for further study when I left school 25 years ago with two poor ‘A’ levels but I realised, very late in the day, that I could achieve my ambition to study at degree level and was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do so,” said Wg Cdr Hawker after their graduation ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral. “I grabbed it with both hands, it’s been worth the effort and I’d recommend it to anyone willing to put in the time and work.”

Wg Cdr Hawker is currently preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in 2011 to run the Force Movements Control Centre where he will be primarily responsible as the Controlling Movements Authority for the planning, coordination and execution of all intra-Theatre air and surface movement of personnel and materiel in both Afghanistan and Iraq theatres of operations.

“Having been given the opportunity to study for my MSc in Logistics Management, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that it presented,” said Sqn Ldr Parr who is posted to Headquarters Air Command. “Following all the hard work over the past three years, juggling the intense studying with a full time job, I am delighted to have graduated.”

The ALSC was launched in October 2007 in contracted partnership between the RAF and the University of Lincoln. It was developed as an 18 month long academic programme comprising of seven one week residential modules, each module containing a specified set of academic lectures complemented by a series of Defence briefings. Each module’s academic theme covers strategic management, contract law, project management, supply chain strategies, logistics operations, research, self management and leadership.

Students are expected to write a 5000 word academic essay during the intervening periods between each module and if successfully completed, would graduate with a PgDip in Logistics Management. The follow-on to an MSc is a personal arrangement between individual students and the University and by producing a satisfactory 20,000 word dissertation will graduate at Master’s level with a degree in Logistics Management. The programme has been so successful that by April 2010, the course has been redeveloped into a pan Defence Logistics Staff Course and is attracting students from across the three Services and Civil Service.

Squadron Leader Jim Nadin RAFR the Course Director said ‘This is an outstanding career development opportunity for officers of the Logistics and Engineer professions, providing them with the skill sets most likely to bring the maximum benefit to Defence and prepare them to address the logistics challenges of the future.’

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