City sailor's 25-year gift

SHEFFIELD-born Petty Officer Grant "Lennie" Lyon has clocked up 25 years' naval service - and was presented with a cool present to mark the occasion.

Lennie received a certificate and a wine cooler made from a shell case to mark his achievement.

But his long Naval career hasn't all been plain sailing.

While working in the hangar of HMS Illustrious, he managed to drop a bomb carrier from height on to the roof of his captain's new Jaguar staff car, writing off the vehicle - whoops!

Lennie is serving with 846 Naval Air Squadron, whose helicopters are regularly deployed both afloat and ashore in support of the UK armed forces and have been in Afghanistan for more than three years.

Lennie, a former Jordanthorpe Secondary School pupil who grew up in Bradway, has also served on the Sea Harrier jet, where he worked on the aircraft's complex weapons systems.

During that time he completed operational tours in the Adriatic and the Gulf, as well as exercises in the USA and the Mediterranean.

After leaving the Harrier force, Lennie, who now lives in Somerset with his wife Amanda, daughter Kerri Anne and son Jonathon, joined the Commando Helicopter Force, working on Sea King MK4 helicopters at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.

After joining 846 NAS, he was immediately deployed to Bosnia on another operational tour.

Within 24 months he completed tours in Basra and Alamara, Iraq.

Lennie was presented with his certificate by Admiral Johnston-Burt, Officer Commanding Joint Helicopter Force, at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

The dad-of-two said: "My work in 846 NAS has been extremely rewarding and I feel honoured to have assisted the force during some extremely demanding times.

"The wine cooler was a very nice surprise too."

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