Deployed 2015

Employees in the Spotlight: Denis Adey

Welcome to the third of our Spotlight articles where we share insights from the people that are integral to the Musketeer Team, our employees. This article will focus around one of our team of consultant engineers, Denis, who has been involved with Musketeer, either as an employee or working alongside us, for many years.

Denis, what’s your role at Musketeer Solutions?

I am one of a number of Engineering Consultants at Musketeer Solutions. I joined as a Musketeer in May 2017; although I have worked alongside them from 2008 whilst in the RAF dealing with the airworthiness of the Sentry aircraft. I have undergone a number of roles for short or medium-term workstreams including technical publications, technical investigations, the development of tools for DE&S Delivery Teams and the provision of processes for a Part 145 Maintenance Exposition.

You are also an RAF Reservist…What do reservists actually do? What’s your role?

I enlisted in June 2017 as a Part Time Volunteer Reservist just a few months after 36 years of service as a regular. I was working for Musketeer Solutions at the time and they have always been supportive of my reservist role. I operate as a Subject Matter Expert as part of 616 Squadron RAuxAF at RAF Waddington although I could be employed anywhere depending on the need, matching my skills and experience. Very much like my Musketeer Solutions role I have been employed on Engineering and Project Management tasks.
Within the RAF there are a number of types of Reservists who train and work alongside Regular personnel depending on how much time they wish to commit to the service. All reservists are of course liable for mobilisation which is the process which occurs when Reservists are needed to support a Defence Operation. A specific ‘call out’ order is given under the Reserve Forces Act 1996. Reservists may be mobilised for anything from a few days up to a maximum of 12 months. A colleague from my Squadron was mobilised during the Covid pandemic to support a UK role; although mobilisation could also send you overseas to a conflict zone.

You split your time between being a Reservist and a Musketeer. How easy do you find it to balance your duties to both?

The call on both of my roles has been highly flexible and this has allowed me to work more for either organisation where needed. I have been fortunate that the RAF has always wanted me to undertake a project and have employed me for 2 days a week. This has allowed for Musketeer work for the remainder of my time which has I believe worked well for both sides. In fact, at the onset of the Covid 19 lockdown I was not able to undertake any RAF work and Musketeer Solutions provided work to fill that gap, it really is a symbiotic relationship. That said, when or if there are gaps in the work demand, I have also managed to get many hours of work ticking off my wife’s to do list in the garden.

What skills have you gained from being a reservist?

Being a reservist allows me to gain further training from the military, I have taken the opportunity to undertake additional Project Management and Continuous Improvement courses. The type of reservist I am purposely targets people who could bring the skills they already possessed and deliver output immediately; a sensible approach I am sure you would agree?

Why did you choose to go into Engineering when you were younger?

I grew up in an engineering background, my dad has his own hydraulic based engineering firm. I would go in the school holidays to the factory, be shown how to strip actuators, pumps and so much more. It gave my such a great foundation knowing how to use hand tools and machines to make component parts from raw materials. I believe it is what I built my career on.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

If only we could go back to the future, it would be amazing! Although I am very content with life, I would advise myself to listen to those around me. I didn’t always have the answer and having a mentor later in life provided valuable insight to both personal and professional life. I try to pass this on and mentor others when asked.

What motivates you?

Service – I have always been drawn to serving in one way or another. I know that is why I wanted to continue to serve once my regular service ended and am amazed at what reservists achieve alongside the regulars. The old ‘weekend warrior’ thinking is not the whole experience in today’s modern military.

What are your hobbies/interests – how do you spend your spare time?

As part of my resettlement when I left the RAF as a regular, I took a cabinet making course in North Devon, I would have stayed much longer than the 5 weeks of the course if I could. Woodworking in my workshop is where I am to be found when I have the time. This has proved useful in many ways, in the garden; building Pergolas, picket fencing and much more. My daughter and I even made some funfair games for a special birthday. I may even start a little business up one day when I retire! Despite all this we still have time to steal our granddaughter away for the weekend and be group leaders for our church.

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