HRH Duke of York visits HMS Gannet
His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG has made a visit to HMS Gannet in Prestwick in his capacity as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm.
Arriving yesterday afternoon (Wednesday September 10), The Duke was greeted by the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Charlie Fuller before touring the unit.
His Royal Highness was himself a Royal Navy Sea King pilot who saw frontline action in the Falklands Conflict in 1982, part of a long naval career which spanned more than two decades from 1979 to 2001.
During the course of the tour, The Duke was introduced to staff from throughout the unit, including the meteorologists, engineers, air crew and support personnel.
Taking time to chat to those he met, he also presented a Certificate of Competency to search and rescue pilot Lieutenant Mark Rose – a certificate which marks the end of his flight training and allows Mark to operate as an aircraft commander.
Showing great interest throughout his time at the unit, His Royal Highness was delighted to come face-to-face with the Sea Kings, taking him back to his own operational service within the Royal Navy.
“It has been an honour to have been able to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of York to HMS Gannet,” said Lt Cdr Fuller. “We were delighted to show him around the unit and it was a pleasure to be able to talk to him about how we operate here, saving lives in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.
“It is a team effort to ensure that our helicopters are ready to respond to emergency calls around the clock, 365 days a year, and it was important to highlight the role of everyone at the unit – engineers, administrators, met office, aircrew and more – in making sure that happens.
“Our work is a sum of all its parts – His Royal Highness completely understands this from his own operational time in the Royal Navy and was delighted to chat to as many staff as possible.”