Paddy hangs up his headset after 33 years of service

Martin (Paddy) O'Hanlon who has recently retired from RAF Boulmer; being  presented with an Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group Commendation  by the Duchess of Northumberland at the recent Honours and Awards Ceremony at RAF Boulmer.
Martin (Paddy) O'Hanlon who has recently retired from RAF Boulmer; being presented with an Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group Commendation by the Duchess of Northumberland at the recent Honours and Awards Ceremony at RAF Boulmer.
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Personnel at RAF Boulmer have said a fond farewell to a well-respected friend and colleague who is retiring after a three decade career.

Martin (Paddy) O’Hanlon enlisted into the RAF on May 23, 1966, beginning a career which would span 33 years.

Paddy was posted to RAF Bawdsey, in Suffolk, where he trained as an air defence operator.

He was then posted to RAF Buchan in Scotland, little knowing that he would complete four tours there, as well as three tours of RAF Boulmer.

His service has seen him embark on many overseas postings including Hong Kong, Colorado, Cyprus and Malaya, where he completed a jungle survival course.

In 1986, Paddy decided to apply for a commission. He was posted to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire to start initial officer training, passing out as a flying officer. He was posted to RAF Boulmer to begin training as an identification officer, which specialises in surveillance and recognition of all aircraft within the UK airspace.

Retirement from the RAF in 1999 marked the beginning of his civil service career as he became a civilian instructor at the School of Aerospace Battle Management, passing on his vast experience and knowledge of the aerospace battle management world to junior officers and airmen.

He has been a father figure and mentor to many and his retirement will be a great loss to the school, where he has worked for the last 13 years.

His contribution to the RAF and the wider community has earned him the prestigious award of Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group Commendation, which was recently presented to him by the Duchess of Northumberland.

Paddy is a member of St Paul’s Church, Alnwick, and a member of the Royal Air Forces Association.

He enjoys sea-angling and shooting.