ROYAL Naval Airman Tom Scott from North Wales is sailing with HMS Ocean on trials off the South West coast of England after the warship’s two-year absence from the fleet.
His first sea job is as an aircraft handler on HMS Ocean which he joined when the ship was under a major refit and because of this there has been a distinct lack of aviation, while major equipment upgrades and refurbishments took place.
However, the ship is now due to land helicopters on its flight deck as part of its sea trials to prepare to be fully operational as an amphibious warship ready to be called upon worldwide with her complement of Royal Marines.
Before the aircraft begin landing on board Tom has been playing his part in bringing HMS Ocean back on line as a warship, he said: “It is fantastic that we are finally at sea. I am really looking forward to getting stuck in when the first helicopters arrive.
"It has been a long journey to get here – but I know that when that first helicopter lands, I will get excited about why I joined the Royal Navy to be an aircraft handler all over again.’’
Tom is a great sports fan and player with his greatest passion being football. He is a member of the HMS Ocean football team, and was one of the players who recently took the team to victory at the Fleet Air Arm Bambara football championship, beating prestigious teams from around the fleet.
He has also just been selected to play on the Plymouth Command Team, and he dabbles in rugby-playing too.
Ultimately, he likes to go home to Holyhead at the weekend and spend his spare time with his Fiancé, Jade.
He was born in Dundee in 1990 into a military family with both parents serving in the RAF. He chose not to follow join the RAF and after seeing an article on the Fleet Air Arm job of an aircraft handler, he knew that was the career for him.
Waiting for three years for the career a handler to become available to him, his dedication to the Royal Navy was evident before he even joined the Navy. In 2011, a place in the branch was finally available and he joined HMS Raleigh training base as an aircraft handler. After ten weeks of intensive basic Naval training, he spent 32 weeks at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in Helston, Cornwall, undertaking aircraft-handling training.
The demanding course consisted of air-crash fire-fighting and rescue, medical training and moving aircraft around the simulated dummy deck.
It was an exciting time for Tom. He said: “I had a great time on my course. I learned so much, and to be able to start learning about a job I had waited so long to do and working with all sorts of aircraft gave me such a buzz.”
Tom’s first job after was watch keeper at the airfield fire station at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. He was part of the team responsible for ensuring aircraft at Yeovilton had emergency cover in the event of an incident.
He said: “The handler’s motto is ‘Nostris in Manibus Tutti’ which means safe in these hands. My time at Yeovilton fire station gave me the chance to really get to know the ins and outs of my job so I could live up to our branch motto.”
After Yeovilton, he had the privilege of taking part in the November Ceremonies in London – giving him experience of Naval and military tradition.