Gary is proud to follow dad’s career path

A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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A ROYAL Navy recruit is following in the footsteps of his late father.

Trainee Warfare Specialist Gary Bladen, 24, from Emsworth, joined the Royal Navy in January and completed the first stage of his training at HMS Raleigh, Cornwall.

His father Ralph died recently following a three-year battle with cancer and had been in the Royal Navy for 24 years.

Gary said: ‘I’m proud to be following in my dad’s footsteps and serve Queen and country.

‘Basic training has been tough, emotional, but at the same time fun and interesting.’

Gary did 10 weeks of training in Cornwall to transform him from a civilian into a sailor.

He said: ‘Coming to the end of training has given me a great sense of achievement.

‘My ambition is to make a career for myself as an Above-Water-Warfare Gunner and to serve on a new Type 45 destroyer.’

A former pupil of Bourne Community College, he previously worked as an engineer.