Sailor earns US qualification

Capt Marcus A Hitchcock, Commanding Officer of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, presents CPO Stacy Gager with his 'aircraft director' certificate aboard the US carrier
Capt Marcus A Hitchcock, Commanding Officer of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, presents CPO Stacy Gager with his 'aircraft director' certificate aboard the US carrier
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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A ROYAL Navy sailor has become the first to qualify as an aircraft director on a US carrier.

Chief Petty Officer Stacy Gager, an aircraft handler by trade, is trained to co-ordinate aircraft moving around the USS Eisenhower as they prepare to fly or come in to land.

The 39-year-old is on board the carrier along with three other Royal Navy aircraft handlers as part of a new scheme between the two countries designed to maintain their skills while Portsmouth’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers are being built.

CPO Gager said: ‘I studied whenever I could and worked hard on the deck so that I could pass their exams just as US sailors do.’