The Thrill of Aviation: In War and in Peace, Passion and Service Leads to a Journey Around the World

Adam Page likes living on the edge. He enjoys the challenge of a high-stress environment, where decisions have to be made quickly, complications sorted out, and plans reworked and revised in order to get the job done.

Thriving under pressure makes Page a perfect fit for the OCC team, where he has worked as Shift Manager since October 2016.

“The thing with aviation is every day is different; anything can happen,” said Page, whose British accent immediately discloses he is not native to Minnesota. “In this environment, you need to think on your feet, and I enjoy the challenge.”cyrus

Page’s road to Endeavor was paved with service to his country, love of adventure, and a passion for aviation. From a young age, when 13-year-old Page first joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Cadets, he was set on a career path marked by unpredictability, and one that would take him on a journey around the world.

At age 18, Page officially joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), starting off in Air Traffic Control before moving into Flight Operations in a Fast Jet Squadron. According to Page, his RAF service involved travel “to some nice places, and some not-so-nice places” – from the beaches of Cyprus, to international training exercises in Nevada, and even to a deployment in Afghanistan.

“I arrived in Afghanistan in July 2009, and it was really at the height of the troubles,” remembered Page, who worked ATC at Camp Bastion and served on the Joint Helicopter Force Afghanistan. “It was hard work, but I enjoyed it. Like every job, I suppose you have good days and bad days.”

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Afghanistan, 2011

In 2011, Page’s nine-year term with the RAF came to an end, and Page was ready for his next chapter, but not necessarily ready for a change in scenery. He quickly accepted a role with a U.S. Government contractor in Afghanistan.

“I was lucky, because a lot of people struggle with that transition into civilian life, and for me it was like I never left, really,” said Page. “I went into a civilian job, but I was still surrounded by military; I went straight back into that zone.”

As Operations Manager for the contractor, Page oversaw the delivery of food and water supplies to troops at the front line. Because of frequent Taliban attacks on road convoys, it was left up to Page’s aviation department to make the transports.

“Sometimes you’d be delivering cargo to a base with no roads, at the top of a mountain, on the edge of a cliff, and the only way to get to it was by helicopter,” Page described. “That environment stretches the aircraft limitations as well as crew limitations. Every day was a new challenge.”

After three years with the contractor – including a six-month stint in Dubai – Page wanted a break from the Middle East. On a vacation to Cancun, Page met his future wife, an American from Indiana. The couple dated long-distance while Page took on his next adventure – contract work in Sierra Leone for the UK’s Department for International Development.

“I was the project manager, setting up a nine-line helicopter service to support the British troops on the ground who were dealing with the Ebola crisis,” said Page, who said that bringing the medical response operation together presented unique challenges.

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Sierra Leone, 2015

“There’s very little in the way of flight safety there, and I found that a large percentage of the population didn’t even believe Ebola was real – they thought it was this government conspiracy. That made our efforts even more challenging.”

For several months, Page oversaw the crews, the helicopters, and the medical team, acting as the liaison between the UK government, the army, and the medics in Sierra Leone.

And then came his greatest adventure of all: Fatherhood.

“I came to the U.S., got married, and became a dad,” recalled Page, who enjoyed a gig as a full-time dad for eight months after his daughter was born. “When it was time to go back to work, I knew I needed to get a ‘normal’ job — No more war, no more Ebola. I got my FAA Dispatch Certificate, applied to Endeavor, and here I am.”

While a very different environment from a Middle East battlefield or the Ebola-ridden jungles of West Africa, Page sees parallels between his experiences and his current role at Endeavor: A focus on safety, efficiency, and quick decision-making. And, Page’s shifted personal priorities have made commercial aviation a good place for him to land.

“Aircraft are amazing machines: They can be used in war, they can be used to save people, and they can be used to move people around the world. Having been involved in all of those branches has better equipped me for future challenges,” said Page, who stated that no matter the mission, his passion is rooted in getting the job done. “Making sure that the operation is completed, that the aircraft arrives and lands safely—the goals are the same. It’s satisfying knowing that I’m a part of that.”