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Richmond sailor reunited with brother after three years apart during deployment stop

Brothers Petty Officer Andrew Woodley and Sergeant James Woodley
A sailor on Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond has been reunited with his brother in the RAF after three years apart.

Petty Officer (Catering Services) Andrew Woodley is currently serving on the Devonport-based frigate and a recent pitstop in the Mediterranean meant he could see his brother Sergeant James Woodley.

Due to military deployments and the Covid-19 pandemic, the pair have not seen each other in more than three years.

Sgt Woodley, an environmental health technician, has been based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus for the past four years where he lives with his wife Clare (also in the RAF) and their two children Oliver and Emily.

PO Woodley and HMS Richmond are deployed with the UK’s Carrier Strike Group and have spent the past few weeks in the Mediterranean carrying out a range of exercises and operations.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my brother and his family after not seeing them for over three years.

Petty Officer Andrew Woodley

While the frigate was in the region, her embarked Wildcat helicopter of Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron travelled to Cyprus to collect stores.

And it was during this flight to the island, with Andrew on board, that the brothers were finally reunited in an emotional meeting for all.

Andrew said: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my brother and his family after not seeing them for over three years.

“It will be an amazing memory to share as a family and I look forward to seeing them all again back in the UK and hopefully spending Christmas together when I return from the CSG21 deployment.”

The Wildcat 202 Flight and PO Woodley returned to Richmond and the ship has continued the UK Carrier Strike Group deployment.

 

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