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Chief Petty Officer A (AH) Graham Johnson (39 years served), PO Jan Rendall ( 43 yrs), WO 1 Andy Lew
Chief Petty Officer A (AH) Graham Johnson (39 years served), PO Jan Rendall ( 43 yrs), WO 1 Andy Lew


Published: 23 Feb 2015

A group of Six Royal Naval Air Branch Reservists, serving at RNAS Culdrose are bringing their years of experience to the training of a new batch of Aircraft Handlers.


Between them the veteran Aircraft Handlers, who have been in uniform for over five decades can boast a grand total of 327 years in age and span an incredible 229 years in Naval Service as Handlers. The oldest joined the Royal Navy in 1972 and has completed43 years in regular and now Maritime Reserve service, including time on HMS Hermes and the old HMS Ark Royal in the 70’s as well as the three later Invincible class carriers.


Working across several departments at the Air Station now, they each have very fond memories of themselves when they joined the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations (RNSFDO).


“It’s good to know that the RNR Air Branch can support the training of the Handlers branch here at the School in Cornwall,” said Chief Petty Officer Airman (Aircraft Handler) John Campbell MBE. “We are all still heavily involved with training the current bunch of youngster coming through who will take up positions on the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.”


And the new Ships are steadily coming together inRosyth,Scotlandwhere HMS Queen Elizabeth is being fitting out before joining the Fleet in 2018. Complete with its huge complement of Aircraft Handlers working on her massive flight deck.


 “We’ve all served on Carriers in our time and seen quite a few different types of aircraft launched from a flight deck, weather it’s HMS Hermes, Ark Royal, Illustrious or Invincible”,  said Petty Officer A (AH) Jan Rendall. “The knowledge we’ve gained over the past 40 odd years serving as Aircraft Handlers is hopefully being passed onto this new generation.”  


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