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Former Fortrose Academy pupil qualifies as naval airman; Tiffany-Jo Murray, who now lives in Inverness, will serve with Royal Navy aboard HMS Albion

By Val Sweeney

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Tiffany-Jo Murray with Commodore David Elford.
Tiffany-Jo Murray with Commodore David Elford.

A FAMILY’S links to the Royal Navy have gone from strength to strength after a new generation qualified to serve aboard one of the force’s vessels.

Black Isle woman Tiffany-Jo Murray (27) has followed in her grandfather’s footsteps by completing the tough training needed to serve on the flight deck of a warship.

She has now qualified as a naval airman and will serve aboard the assault ship HMS Albion.

The former Fortrose Academy pupil, who now lives in Inverness, said her grandfather was an aircraft handler and she had always wanted to join the Royal Navy.

“I know my family are very proud and they have been very supportive of me throughout my training. I am looking forward now to being an aircraft handler on the frontline,” she said.

She was among 11 men and women to recently complete their training at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in west Cornwall.

Their roles on the flight deck will involve helping secure, manoeuvre and manage the ship’s aircraft.

Friends and family attended a special ceremony where they were handed their certificates and naval airmen badges by Commodore David Elford.

They officially passed into the Royal Navy’s Aircraft Handlers’ Branch which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

Lieutenant Commander Billy Benton, the commanding officer of the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations, was in charge of their training.

He said it was an exciting time to be in the Royal Navy and wished them well in their careers.

“These men and women will now go on to serve on ships around the world, many on the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers,” he said.

“They will be playing an instrumental role in allowing aviation at sea including the ability to launch Britain’s new F35 Lightning jets.”

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