Sussex Association of Naval Officers (SANO)
"Maintaining naval contacts and interest in Sussex and beyond"

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RAF engineer becomes first ever UK female 3-star Commander

Sue Gray, an RAF engineer, has been promoted Air Marshal, making her the most senior female officer ever in the UK armed forces.  She will shortly take up the role of Director General of the Defence Safety Authority, leading the oversight of safety regulation and accident investigation. 

Air Marshal Gray joined the RAF in 1985 and has worked in many roles including on VC10 transport aircraft and the Joint Helicopter Force, during the latter being deployed on both Gulf Wars.

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HMS Kent trains with emergency services

The ship's company of HMS Kent and the emergency services have exercised together in training for an explosion.  They used the Royal Navy’s disaster training complex at Devonport Naval Base, overseen by staff from Flag Officer Sea Training, to prepare for a combined response to such an emergency. 


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Lt Cdr J R Woods RD* RNR; Mrs P D M Parsons

SANO regrets to report the death of John Woods on 5 February at a Surrey nursing home.  John was a long-standing member and served on the committee for many years as Social Secretary.  We understand that the funeral will be in Surrey, details awaited.

We also learned more recently of the death in August 2018 of Pat Parsons.

National Archives Cold War events season

April sees the launch of a Cold War season at the National Archives, including a new exhibition looking into life in Britain during that turbulent era.  The season will include talks, panel discussions, films and family activities exploring life in Britain under the threat of nuclear attack.  More here.