Another peek behind the security fence of Helston's naval base, meeting the men and women who run it.

As someone who loves aircraft and photography, Lieutenant Commander Graeme Stringer has his very own dream job.

The 56-year-old is the officer commanding air traffic control at RNAS Culdrose.

Known officially as ‘SATCO’ (senior air traffic controller) - but commonly by his nickname ‘Strings’ – Lieutenant Commander Stringer is also a self-confessed aviation geek.

“I am the proverbial spotter – always have been – and I have the best spotting position on the airfield,” he said.

From his corner office at the top of the tower, just below the topmost glass-panelled air traffic control room, he can gaze down across the runways and landing zones. He takes great delight in snapping unusual military aircraft, which typically divert at short notice for a speedy fly-past at Culdrose.

He began his navy career in 1981 and worked his way up through the ranks, adding: “I started my career as a helicopter mechanic so I was in an ideal world where I could climb about on aircraft. I’ve often been asked why I didn’t join the RAF but I have family connections to the Royal Navy, going back to the Second World War, so I knew I always wanted to join the navy.”

As an air traffic controller, Lieutenant Commander Stringer has worked at various bases in the UK and on warships around the world, often acting as liaison on the ships of allied countries during international exercises.

He now has the over-arching responsibility for air traffic at Culdrose and nearby Predannack airfield. As a deputy flying supervisor, he also shares the responsibility for day-to-day flying at Culdrose.

This is his second time as Culdrose’s SATCO, a job which like most in the navy rotates every two years – he has one year left to go. The dad-of three lives up-country and during the week stays onboard at the busy Cornish air station.