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LAcmn Alan 'Speedy' Speed

Suez Convoy Transit
Aircrewman Being Winched From A Merlin
Leading Aircrewman Speed

Alan 'Speedy' Speed joined the Royal Navy in 2001 as an Operator Mechanic, Mine Warfare specialist.  After transferring to Aircrewman, he started flying training in late 2006 and was awarded his 'wings' in November 2008.  He is now serving on 820 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose, situated down in sunny Cornwall.  His hobbies include Surfing, walking his dog (to the pub), playing Guitar, reading zombie novels, watching zombie films, and killing zombies on the Xbox.
“The week started with HMS OCEAN conducting a transit down through the Suez Canal. The temperature soared as we headed south and even with the ships air conditioning it was still like being inside a floating oven. The navy had just the plan for this though, we all switched to naval tropical rig, Blue shirt, deck shoes and a little pair of school boy shorts that would make even Angus Young blush.

As for flying we had a day off and the ship opened the flight deck for sports and sunbathing. It was too hot for me and I had to fly that night so I got my head down, but when I woke I thought the ship had been invaded by lobster people until I realised it was all sunburn.

We flew that night at 2 am to go and find a submarine using the Merlins active dipping sonar. It took us a while to find him this was mainly down to the warmer climate affecting the way the sound travelled through the water. We got him on our second dip and tracked him for the rest of the evening always remaining one step ahead.

The last few days we have been put through our paces with conducting secondary roles with the aircraft, one of theses included HIFR Helicopter in flight refuelling.
This basically involves hovering alongside the ship and conducting a refuel without actually having to land, its pretty hard going in this heat, especially leaning out the aircraft to attach the refuel hose.”