A rich family service history and a passion for technical mastery have meant a diverse career for Warrant Officer Nicolas Stubbs-Race, who will soon move from the operational environment to ambassador for Air Force’s newest innovation program, Edgy Air Force.

Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race, a loadmaster with No. 37 Squadron, said it was only a matter of time before he followed in his father’s footsteps.

“I’ve always been interested in Defence. Everyone in my family, going back several generations, have been in the military,” Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race said.

“Growing up with my father being in the Royal Air Force, both grandparents were in the first and second World Wars and my brother was in the Army for a short time.”

Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race initially joined as an aircraft structural fitter, colloquially known as a metal basher, in 1996.

After working on the C-130 Hercules and seeing what the aircraft were capable of doing, he thought it was time to work in a more operational role.

“I’ve always had a technical job in my life. I love technical things such as boats, cars and anything that moves or has some sort of mechanical component,” Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race said.

“But I wanted to learn more about what the Air Force did as a capability and get more involved in that element. That’s what attracted me to become a loadmaster.

“I’ve been on six operational deployments, many humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities, and the training continuum is quite interesting as well.”

“Essentially, it’s a network for people to dive into the Jericho space and get the support and finance they need to further innovate the projects they are working on.”

Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race was also an instructor for three years at No. 285 Squadron, teaching loadmasters.

“The greatest challenge was the effective management of personnel in helping people to develop and grow themselves. In turn, it helps you grow and develop yourself,” he said.

After a 13-year tour as a loadmaster, Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race will transition to Canberra to join the Plan Jericho team.

He’ll be working with individuals, squadrons and units across Defence, driving the Edgy Air Force program, which seeks out bottom-up innovative solutions from the junior ranks in Air Force.

“Essentially, it’s a network for people to dive into the Jericho space and get the support and finance they need to further innovate the projects they are working on for a more efficient and evolved Air Force,” Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race said.

“It’s something completely different and I’m ready for a new challenge.”

As he reflects on his long and memorable career with the Hercules, Warrant Officer Stubbs-Race said he will miss the C-130.

“As I told all my students, there are only two types of aircraft in the Air Force: the C-130 and not a C-130,” he said.

“I would also remind them that Air Force is looking for people to dedicate themselves to the service, to think about the RAAF values and what they mean, and then apply them.”