A driving instructor from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has finally put the brake on after a long career of nearly 40 years with the Royal Navy and Civil Service.

Ian Callister was presented with a Valedictory certificate from Commanding Officer RNAS Culdrose, Captain Mark Garratt after completing 17 years at the Air Station as a Driving Instructor with the Royal Navy School of Flight Deck Operations.

Having joined the Royal Navy in November 1974 from his native Isle of Man, Ian started training as a Naval Airman, Aircraft Handler and served at RNAS Culdrose as well as RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset. He also served on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth Dockyard as a tour guide and was drafted to the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee World tour in 1977.

While with 826 NAS he also saw service around the Falklands where he was awarded the South Atlantic Medal. He completed another Sqn draft to 814 NAS before joining the RNSFDO as the chief instructor and the motor transport chief.

Ian left the naval service in November 1996 as a Chief Petty Officer Aircraft Handler (AH), but two months later re-joining RNAS Culdrose as a civilian instructor, then qualifing as a defence driving instructor to teach large goods vehicles and the fire engine familiarisation training. In 2001 he qualified as a defence driving examiner to conduct tests on all categories of large goods vehicles.

“I’ve had a wonderful time here at Culdrose,” said Ian. “It’s one of those jobs that you just don’t want to give up. Not every day has been the same and teaching naval personnel to drive is pretty rewarding.

During my time at the school I’ve trained on many different vehicles. Ancient Green Goddesses for the fireman’s strike, tankers during the oil tankers strike, and detached duties at Plymouth & Taunton with the Royal Marines carrying out driving tests on all their vehicles in preparation for them serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I could have gone on but making a break is an exciting new beginning.”

Not that Ian is hanging up his driving gloves just yet; he already planned a long awaited driving adventure, hitching up his caravan for a tour of Europe.