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Culdrose weatherman hangs up his isobars after 32 years service

20 December 2016
An experienced weatherman working at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has finally ‘called it a day’, as he gives his last ever Met Brief in the Royal Navy after 32 years’ service.

Warrant Officer 1 (METOC) Paul Hulford, presented his final study and calculations of the day’s weather to ‘Wings’ (Commander Jason Phillip OBE) and Air Traffic personnel who work in the ATC Tower on the Base.

Paul’s briefings regularly made up the forecasts that are the starting point for all flying from RNAS Culdrose, as well as seen by national and international organisation around the World.

“I started my Met career here at Culdrose at the Navy’s Met school in 1985,” said Paul. “I was a Naval Airman METOC (Observer) then. 

Over my 32 Years I’ve have some happy memories serving on the carriers Ark Royal and Illustrious, as well as working with the embarked Air Groups on exercises and major Operations.

Warrant Officer 1 (METOC) Paul Hulford

“Taking readings and using all the instruments around the Tower and feeding them to the forecasters.”

Since then Paul has served on some the Royal Navy’s large capital ships on all the Oceans of the world, where pilots and Commanders have used his weather predictions and forecasts to plan their operations.

“Over my 32 Years I’ve have some happy memories serving on the carriers Ark Royal and Illustrious, as well as working with the embarked Air Groups on exercises and major Operations.

“I was also the Executive Warrant Officer of HMS Chatham from 2009 to 2011. Managing people and running the Ship’s routines when we were the NATO Flagship on Counter Piracy Operations off the Horn of Africa.”

“I also did a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2013 in support of Air Operations during OP Herrick.”

Since then Paul has worked in London as part of JOMOC (Joint Operational Meteorology Oceanography Centre) located at Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood in North London.

There he had been part of a team producing and distributing worldwide environmental information for both UK and NATO military customers.

“Today has been my very last Met brief in uniform and its nice coming back to Culdrose, where it all started.

“I’d like to say it was just like any other of the thousands I’ve given, but this one has been a little bit special.”

Paul will however still keep his ‘hat in the ring’ as part of the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch based once again at JOMOC in London.

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