Gainsborough: Supervisor swaps production line for desert guard duty in the Middle East

NEWS: The Gainsborough Standard
NEWS: The Gainsborough Standard

A production supervisor from Gainsborough has swapped his golf club production line for a blisteringly hot aircraft base guarding Royal Air Force jets in the Middle East.

Senior Aircraftman Michael Smith, 37, an RAF Regiment reservist, was mobilised to protect UK aircraft and colleagues at a desert air base in the Middle East.

Michael, who has been a reservist for five years, will be based in the Middle East for four months.

Before deploying he had to undergo 16 weeks of intensive training that would prepare him for every eventuality. Comparing his RAF reservist role with his day job as a production supervisor for golfing manufacturer Ping, Michael said: “In each job you’re always thinking I’ve got to do my job to the best of my abilities and prove I can do the job.”

“There’s also a lot of pride. I’m proud to work for Ping and I’m proud to work for the RAF Reserves.”

“I learn a lot of management skills and discipline from the RAF and what I learn here I can take back home.”

“You need discipline on the civilian side because the slightest thing wrong will affect the product going out of the door.”

“ My team think I’m crazy. I recently received a care package from England and I thought it was from my wife and son”

“When I opened it up it contained everything you could ever want along with a card from the team at work. It was a really lovely gesture.”