Thursday Conversation with Major Becky Frater – Army Air Corps
June 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Becky Frater will be discussing:
‘Being the first not necessarily the best – tales from a female helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy!’
Major Frater originally joined the Army in 1998 after three years as a secondary school teacher in Bristol. After initial training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst she was commissioned directly into the Army Air Corps and was subsequently awarded her Army Wings Flying Badge in 2001. She was posted to 659 Sqn of 4 Regt AAC as a Flight Commander after qualifying on both the Lynx Mk7 (anti-tank) and Lynx Mk9 (LBH). Deployments included Belize, France, Canada and ultimately OP TELIC (Iraq) after which she was awarded a GOC’s (2*) Commendation. She was then selected to undertake Qualified Helicopter Instructor training and was subsequently employed as a Flight Commander within 705 NAS of DHFS at RAF Shawbury. Awarded A2 in 2006 and despite Beige listing with the Army she elected to transfer to the Senior Service and assumed the role of Training Officer. She was awarded a Green Endorsement during this appointment for her exceptional handling of a significant engine malfunction in the Squirrel HT1.
She was subsequently appointed to 702 NAS in 2007, the Maritime Lynx Training Squadron, where she was awarded her Royal Navy Wings in 2007. After which she was appointed to 815 NAS as Flight Commander serving in HMS St ALBANS and HMS ARGYLL operating both the Lynx Mk3 (HAS) and Mk8 (HMA). Deployments included Op TAURUS 09 and SNMG2 commitments. She was subsequently appointed to 702 NAS and responsible for instructing future maritime attack helicopter pilots the skills of maritime aviation, NVGs and ship deck landings amongst other skills. During this time she was also selected to lead the Royal Navy Helicopter Display Team – the Black Cats during the 2010 display season. She was promoted Lt Cdr during this appointment.
She was then deployed to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK and assumed the role of COS of JHF(A) for 8 months after which she was awarded a CJO’s (3*) Commendation. On return and during maternity she was appointed SO2 Ops within LHF HQ before assuming Command of 705 NAS in June 2013.
Lt Cdr Frater enjoys all sports but more specifically hockey having represented England, England O40s, England Universities and British Universities in the past and received her Combined Services (Captain in 2006), Army and Royal Navy colours. Home is Somerset where she resides with her husband and 6-year-old daughter.
During her Service to the Fleet Air Arm she has clocked up an impressive list of milestones including the FAA’s:
- First Female to pilot the Helicopter Maritime Attack Lynx.
- First Female Qualified Helicopter Instructor including A2.
- First Female to fly a FAA display helicopter – Black Cat lead in 2010.
- First Female to lead a FAA display team and first in the world to lead a military helicopter display team.
- First Female to Command a Naval Air Squadron.
She is currently back with the Army Air Corps and undergoing qualification as an instructor on the Wildcat Recce Helicopter with 652 Sqn AAC.