RAF Brize Norton News

Keeping it in the Family

A father and son team from Calne in Wiltshire are working alongside each other on the Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri.

A father and son team from Calne in Wiltshire are working alongside each other on the Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri

Flight Sergeant John Spanton, (54) and his son Harry (21) a Senior Aircraftsman are both movers, responsible for handling freight and loading and unloading the aircraft arriving at the base daily as a part of wider operations in the Middle East.

The pair are working alongside each other for four months while Harry is on detachment from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

For John, who heads up a team of 17 personnel, watching his son brings back memories of when he first joined the RAF.

A father and son team from Calne in Wiltshire are working alongside each other on the Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri

“It’s been a great experience to watch my son do the job that I have been doing for years,” he explains. “I am very proud to see how he is developing into a movements tradesman.”

Both joined the RAF because of the opportunities it has offered them.

“The best part of the job,” says Harry, “are the ever-changing working scenarios.” As a mover on 1 Air Mobility Wing he gets the opportunity to support operations world wide at short notice. “I also enjoy the social aspect and the opportunities for adventure training and sport.”

A father and son team from Calne in Wiltshire are working alongside each other on the Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri

“I joined up at 22,” says John, I felt I was going nowhere with limited qualifications. The RAF gave me the chance to learn a trade. I never expected to stay in for more than nine years, but I loved the opportunities I was offered. In my career I have worked on a range of projects in areas such as IT and careers.”

For Squadron Warrant Officer Kev Skinner, having the father and son team on the squadron has certainly had its benefits.

A father and son team from Calne in Wiltshire are working alongside each other on the Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri

“Having John and Harry working together on the Joint Movements Squadron has been tremendous,” he explains.  “I have personally known John for over 30 years, and it is great to see Harry now continuing the family connection with the Royal Air Force and Movements trade as his career takes off. Throughout Harry’s deployment to Cyprus the Squadron has overcome many challenges in order to continue handling transport aircraft in the face of Coronavirus pandemic, the Spantons can be justifiably proud of their combined contributions to the team effort.”

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