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Karen leads the way

Warrant Officer Karen Bowers.
Warrant Officer Karen Bowers.

Warrant Officer Karen Bowers, from Longframlington, has become a pioneer for women in the Royal Air Force after taking up her new post as Station Warrant Officer at RAF Boulmer.

Karen is now one of a very small number of females who have ever held this prestigious role. Her new role entails the maintenance of standard of dress, discipline and deportment of all personnel on the station and representing the views and issues of the junior ranks at station management level. She is also responsible for the organisation of all parade and ceremonial duties, Station inspections and general administrative duties.

Karen joined the RAF in 1988 as an Aerospace Systems Operator, serving tours at RAF Neatishead, RAF Saxa Vord, RAF High Wycombe, the Gulf and the Falklands. She also enjoyed a tour at RAF Boulmer’s School of Aerospace Battle Management, teaching service and NATO students, which involved travelling to Norway, Portugal and Germany as well as teaching in the UK.

She said: “Joining the RAF was the only thing I ever wanted to do.  My granddad was a WO1 Rear Gunner and Wireless Operator in the RAF during the Second World War and I was absolutely fascinated with the stories he used to tell me about his life in the service.  I idolised him; he was my inspiration.“