A NEW wing commander has taken over at RAF Fylingdales and the 3,000 nautical miles around it.
Rayna Owens has assumed control of everything from monitoring activity in space, to looking out for missile attacks to looking after 360 members if staff.
She has come to the wilderness of the North York Moors from RAF High Wycombe where she was acting director for the majority of Op ELLAMY which was part of the peace process in Libya.
Rayna is an aerosystems battle manager and has served on a number of UK Surveillance and control systems posts as well as jobs at the Air Warfare Centre and within the Ministry of Defence.
She has completed operational tours in the Falkland Islands, with the Navy for Op Tellic (British Military operations in Iraq) and in the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul.
Rayna joined the RAF on a sponsored cadetship passing up a career in finance after studying maths and computer science and is already familiar with the North York Moors.
On a daily basis Rayna and her team track objects that are in space such as NASA satellites and debris.
Rayna said: “There is a big catalogue of data of objects in space and we will see if they are where we think they are.
“In 2008 it was all over the papers about the satellite that crashed and with more and more objects in space that sort of thing in itself creates more debris.”
In 2013 the RAF Fylingdales, which has become an iconic sight on the moors, celebrated its 50th birthday;.
The work which takes place in the station may differ from when it was used to look out for nuclear attacks and missiles but should the need arise the team are ready.
Rayna added: “If someone wanted to fire a missile I would know, that is what it was designed for years ago but fortunately we are not at war with other nations.”