A NEW voice will be heard commentating during the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s displays this summer.
Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat is taking over as Red 10 – the Red Arrows’ safety supervisor and, while on the ground at events, also the person who talks the watching crowd through the show.
This week, he succeeds Wing Commander Adam Collins, who has carried out the role for the last four seasons and is now leaving the team having recently been promoted.
Sqn Ldr Muscat, who flew the Tornado GR4 on the frontline earlier in his RAF career, said: “The Red Arrows are the best at what they do, they are a UK icon and are one of notable facets that standout when you think of Britain.
“Being part of this fantastic organisation is a boy hood dream and one which I can hopefully use to provide that inspiration to young people and also be an ambassador for the UK, both at home and abroad.”
Born in Great Sutton, Cheshire, Sqn Ldr Muscat was an Air Cadet with 1074 Ellesmere Port Squadron when he was teenager, before joining the RAF in 1995 as a Communications System Analyst (Voice).
In 1998, he became Non-Commissioned Aircrew as an Air Signaller and progressed through training to eventually join 51 Squadron, RAF Waddington, on the Nimrod.
Five years later, Sqn Ldr Muscat was selected for a Commission and pilot training, starting Initial Officer Training in 2004. He subsequently flew the Tutor, Tucano and Hawk respectively, before the Tornado operationally and then the Hawk T2 as a Qualified Flying Instructor.
Interestingly Sqn Ldr Muscat visited the Malta International Airshow in the 2017 edition bringing to the Island the first ever Hawk T.2 aircraft, that was one of the various attractions on the static display.
Over the last few weeks, he has been gradually learning about the various aspects of the Red 10 role from his predecessor.
One of the key tasks for Red 10 is to be in place at an event location well in advance of the team’s planned performance time and arrival of the Red Arrows display team.
From a position on the ground, the supervisor checks for potential hazards and – during the Red Arrows’ show – maintains radio contact with Red 1, the Team Leader, and the formation flying above.
This means Red 10 is at every event, allowing the pilot to meet countless people as well as commentating to millions each year.
Sqn Ldr Muscat said: “Being Red 10, the Team Supervisor, not only puts you at the forefront of ensuring the team’s operations are safe and fit to display but also allows you to engage directly with the public – helping to influence and inspire those I will meet at the various displays.
“It’s very much part of why I was interested in the role.”
Although not a pilot in the main display formation, the Red 10 role is among the most prominent and dynamic in the team.
In addition to being the supervisor for all practices and displays plus commentating at shows, they coordinate the season and fly the team’s photographers – being responsible for many of the Red Arrows’ striking, widely-shared images from across the globe.