Leonardo Veterans mark VE Day at NavyWings

26 June 2024

Earlier this year, veterans from our Yeovil site gathered to mark VE Day at the NavyWings headquarters, based at RNAS Yeovilton.

The Leonardo Armed Forces Network Group members joined representatives from the NavyWings charity, which we are proud to support, to reflect on Victory in Europe Day.

Based at RNAS Yeovilton, one of the UK’s busiest Fleet Air Arm bases, The Fly Navy Heritage Trust is the charity behind NavyWings, which works to preserve Britain’s extraordinary naval aviation heritage. Amongst the aircraft kept and maintained at NavyWings are the Swordfish, Seafire, Wasp, Sea Fury and Sea Hawk. The Westland Wasp is a heritage product of Leonardo, and was a first-generation jet engine helicopter built specifically for the Royal Navy, based on an original concept of a light utility helicopter for the British Army, the Scout AH1, first introduced into service in 1964.

Leonardo Programme Manager Michael Schunke, who is a veteran and leads the Leonardo Armed Forces Network Group in Yeovil commented, “A lot of people who work at our Yeovil site are ex-military. There is often an unspoken bond of trust between former members of the Armed Forces, as you have an instinctive understanding of each other’s experiences and mind-sets. I left the Royal Navy about ten years ago, so I’ve been a civilian longer than I’ve served in the military and for me it is about supporting others in making the transition into industry and helping them to navigate what I experienced a decade ago so they can fulfil their full potential at Leonardo.

“We have developed a specific support mechanism for veterans being inducted into the company, as it can sometimes be a shock to the system transitioning out of a long military career. Sometimes it is as simple as having a chat, or helping colleagues navigate company processes and IT systems, right through to days like today which highlight the importance of the military in protecting our freedoms in a world full of uncertainty.”

Several of the Leonardo delegation formerly worked at RNAS Yeovilton during their military careers, so it was a chance for them to reconnect with former colleagues at the naval air station. They also had the opportunity to learn how the NavyWings pilots and engineers maintain and operate Royal Navy historic aircraft based at RNAS Yeovilton, which are often used in air displays, by film and TV crews for historical dramas and documentaries.

Michael added, “Right now I’m working on the next generation of advanced, uncrewed rotor-craft and you can see how much we owe to the evolution of historical aviation designs that NavyWings protects and celebrates. Thinking about VE Day really brings to the front of your mind how important it is to continue to retain valuable technical skills, whilst also pushing the boundaries to innovate with new technologies that will provide our military with the best capability right when they need it the most.”

Armed Forces Network Group

Leonardo's Armed Forces network group connects and supports our veterans, reservists and military family colleagues and communities. Additionally, it assists new employees as they transition from military to civilian life.

For the wider Leonardo UK business, the group helps enhance our collective sense of pride in being part of UK and allied defence, through sharing stories from our veterans, reservists and military families.

Transition from military service

Leonardo’s commitment to the Armed Forces Community is pledged through our support of the Armed Forces Covenant, while we have been awarded the UK MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.

We understand that the transition from military service to civilian life can be a major challenge for some people. To address this, we work with the Career Transition Partnership to provide initial and ongoing support.

We also have a dedicated Armed Forces Network Group which supports Leonardo UK Armed Forces veterans, reservists and spouses or partners of serving members.

Developing your career

Leonardo’s growth in the UK has resulted from the skills, energy and dedication of our people. We are committed to equal opportunity and offering personal fulfilment through the highest quality education and development.

Looking to the future, we want reinforce our competitive position in the UK and other markets. To meet this challenge, we offer an environment for qualified people with the will to succeed and a passion for excellence to fulfil their potential and enable our company to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology.

Company Benefits

At Leonardo, we believe that our employees work best when they are able to achieve balance between work and other aspects of life. That’s why we are committed to designing policies and developing a working environment that promote the benefits and wellbeing of all our employees.

Interview Support

When we invite you for an interview, we want to hear about you; your achievements and what you can bring. By thinking about the role you are applying for, align your skills and experience to it. Make it easy for the Hiring Manager to decide you are the best candidate they can select for the role.

When preparing for your interview, review the company website and enhance your knowledge as much as possible, such as where Leonardo is present, who our customers are, and what is important to us i.e. sustainability, corporate social responsibility. Look at our mission and values and consider how your own values align to us. Read some of our employee profiles, speak to anyone you know who works for us, and follow us on social media.

We carry out Competency Based Interviews (CBI). To help you prepare, we suggest you make yourself aware of the BACK model:

  • Background – What was the situation and what was your goal?
  • Action – What action did you take?
  • Consequence – What was the outcome / end result?
  • Knowledge – What feedback was received? / How was the success measured? What did you learn from this experience? / Is there anything you would have done differently?