A career in the RAF Reserves can help you develop personally and professionally. Corporal Faye Hudson, serves for No 3 (Tactical) Police Squadron Police Reserves at RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire tells us about her experience as a Reservist…
From a young age Faye had a passion for the Air Force and was always looking for a new challenge. Back in 2012, Faye, 35 and from Teignmouth in Devon, decided to reignite her passion for the Royal Air Force and joined the Reserves’ No 3 Tactical Police Squadron. She’d already spent six years in the Regulars, leaving in 2003, and since taking up her new role, she has certainly challenged herself, serving in Afghanistan, trekking to Everest base camp and parachuting in New Zealand.
“Afghanistan was a tour like no other,” says Faye. “We were one of the last deployments of Operation Herrick and things were scaling back, so no one really knew how our mobilisation was going to play out.
“I was part of the force protection element, responsible for internal security at Camp Bastion. I was working a minimum of 12-hour days for six months in temperatures that topped 40 degrees. Some people may not see that as a positive opportunity, but for me it was a great life experience. The sense of achievement you get when you return makes it all worthwhile.”
During her deployment, Faye arranged a charity cycling event, raising £2,000 for War Child, an organisation that provides support for children whose families, communities and schools have been torn apart by war.
“I would say it’s my proudest moment with the Reserves so far,” Faye explains. “It was called the Tour de Herrick and emulated the Tour de France: every day we had a rider on a static bike cycling the same distance as the Tour de France stars were covering that day. I am really proud that I was able to organise such a great event and never expected to be out in Afghanistan raising money for a great cause.”
One of the biggest challenges Faye has faced was her Nepal trek in 2013. She battled extreme weather conditions, a gruelling schedule that meant nine hours’ walking each day and even an avalanche to reach her goal in just three weeks.
“I would go as far as saying that was a life-changing experience. It was physically demanding – every day you are walking at altitude with little sleep. “We were caught in an avalanche, which was obviously scary. One of our yaks was completely buried. My military experience helped me to remain calm, but afterwards I thought, ‘It could have turned out so differently.’ I learnt so much from dealing with the tough situations I faced during the expedition.”
Recently, Faye has spent two weeks in New Zealand as part of an adventure training exercise. “I went white-water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and did a parachute jump out of a plane. I went thinking that perhaps I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all these things, but with the team environment and the encouragement from others on the exercise, it’s amazing what you can achieve.”
Alongside her Reservist role, Faye has a successful career with Sky, investigating fraud and looking after Sky content. “I wouldn’t be in the civilian role I am today if it weren’t for my experiences with the Royal Air Force,” says Faye. “Sky has been really supportive about my role with the RAF: they can see how they benefit from it, too. I have developed as an individual and received some great training that is all transferrable to my civilian job.”
Discover your mission
Reserves serve alongside Regulars in the UK and overseas. They get the best of both worlds by balancing their own careers and home life with the challenge and adventure of the RAF.
With more than 30 exciting roles to choose from ranging from Intelligence Offi cer, ICT Technician and Police to Image Analyst, there is bound to be a role for you. All Reservists could be deployed at least once during their term of service. The joining age is 18-49 and you get paid!
To join visit raf.mod.uk/recruitment or call the Reserves helpline on 0345 606 9069 to discover which role is right for you