The Airborne Specialist Badge

Presented to MIC personnel on XIII Squadron based at RAF Waddington on 17 Jun 20 by Station Commander Group Captain Kilvington.

Coming from the Intelligence Branch and TG11 Intelligence Trades, the Mission Intelligence Coordinator (MIC) is one of the 3 crew positions, along with a pilot and a sensor operator, of the MQ-9 REAPER surveillance and strike aircraft. As a crew they ensure that the MQ-9 REAPER provides accurate intelligence and support to units deployed in operational theatres around the world.

By permission of Her Majesty The Queen, today’s presentation of the Airborne Specialist Flying Badge to the MICs is recognition of the professional contribution they have made, and continue to make, in support of global operations.

The approval of the Airborne Specialist Flying Badge for the MICs is but one indicator of how the provision of air power is evolving. Coupled with the recent awarding of the Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria, for REAPER crews, emphasises the recognition that Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) have provided a tangible effect in defence of the UK. The continued successes of REAPER and the upcoming PROTECTOR Program indicates that RPAS will fulfil a significant role in the future of the RAF. The MIC role, and TG11, are at the heart of this future. One of those receiving the flying badge today is ‘Stanners’. Having been part of the UK Reaper Force, as a MIC, since 2011, he said that “MICs being granted the Airborne Specialist Flying Badge is the culmination of
a lot of hard work over a
long time.

Thanks to a line of successive Squadron Commanding Officers, at both XIII and 39 Squadron, the success of the MIC role, during Op HERRICK and Op SHADER, has been championed and is now being rightfully recognised. It is an excellent occasion for those receiving their flying badge today; but it is also great to see the Intelligence Trade professionally expanding and moving further into aircrew
roles. Being a MIC is the most
challenging, enjoyable and rewarding role I have had in my RAF career.

” Stanners has a long history with XIII Squadron, he joined the Squadron as an LAC in 1991 and throughout his career has found himself returning to XIII on posting. He currently fulfils the role of Squadron Warrant Officer, a role he has undertaken since 2017, and has in excess of 3000 hours on REAPER.