Brian Wiles reflects on his 44 years at Marshall - across both Land Systems and Aerospace

Brian Wiles reflects on his 44 years at Marshall - across both Land Systems and Aerospace

Marshall have many employees that have worked at the company for the majority of their working life. Brian Wiles, an Aircraft Fitter in Marshall Aerospace is a good example of this, having joined the business in 1979.

Brian recalls a teacher’s career advice. ‘With your interests, get yourself into Marshall’.

Brian eventually took his advice and joined as an engineering trainee in the Land Systems side of the business, initially working on commercial vehicle based platforms. As the business evolved to focus more on military applications, Brian travelled extensively, including regular visits to the Middle East and Germany, supporting the increasing military presence in these regions.

Brian enjoyed the diversity of the job in the following years and recalls,

“After Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, I remember going to the air show at Farnborough with a colleague Joe Northrop, and we noticed how field hospitals were canvas constructions. We could see first-hand the opportunity for container-based field hospital solutions and expandable containers too.”

Brian specialised more in quality, which further enhanced his skills set and made the move from a Fitter role to becoming a Quality Technician, which he did for a number of years.

Later in the 1990s, the UK Government at the time was investing more into the NHS.

“We were looking at providing modularised operating theatres to large hospitals to increase their capacity in a cost-effective way. I was a technician supporting this Marshall delivered solution. These modules were supplied to hospitals in Cambridge, London and Southend.” He recalls.

In 2006, Brian undertook a big career change to become an Adult Trainee to re-train as an Aircraft Fitter, training through Bedford College as part of a 4 year programme. This was quite a bold move to develop his career further with lots of time spent studying to pass the course.

“An interesting early Aerospace experience was on the Tucson project - bringing back two C-130s from the Mojave Desert where they had been stored for a number of years. They were transported back to the UK on ships, then being refurbished at Cambridge prior to being sold to the Dutch air force.”

'I worked across a number of teams in the following years. Initially we focused on RAF inputs, then Bangladesh aircraft before focusing on Centre Wing preparation and despatch - a role which I really enjoy.’

We asked Brian what advice would he give to others to develop their career.

‘Do your best and a bit more, and you won’t go far wrong. I want to feel that I have earned my keep.’