Once his initial training was complete, he became an air loadmaster
on the Chinook aircraft before eventually qualifying as an instructor.
He joined the service when he was 19 as a ground technician, and started with the Air Loadmaster
branch after completing aircrew training.
Ed joined the RAF six years ago as an Air Loadmaster
and having shown an aptitude for Search and Rescue he was posted to Valley to begin training as a winchman and began his training in pre-hospital medicine.
He later graduated from the air loadmaster
specialist training course at RAF Shawbury in July 2001.
Wing Commander Chris Hunter paid tribute to the air loadmaster
As an air loadmaster
he was the master of his trade, a consummate professional and committed team player.
He joined the service when he was 19 as a ground technician but started with the Air Loadmaster
branch in April after completing aircrew training.
The crew of the Hercules C130K, feared to have been shot down by a Stinger missile on Sunday, were the captain Flt Lt David Stead, co-pilot Flt Lt Andrew Smith, navigator Flt Lt Paul Pardoel, air loadmaster
Flt Sgt Mark Gibson, air engineer MACR Gary Nicholson and ground engineers Chief Technician Richard Brown and Sgt Robert O'Connor.