Remembrance Day and Heathrow’s Paul Farmer
We’ve delved into the yourHeathrow vault this Remembrance Day to help remember our former servicemen and women. Meet former Royal Air Force Police member Paul Farmer.
Meet Paul Farmer. Paul works within Heathrow’s Campus Security as a Duty Manager. Before Heathrow, Paul served in the Royal Air Force Police for 13 years. He is married to wife Natalie and they, including their black Labrador Dexter, just welcomed daughter Annabelle to their little family.
Tell us about your Heathrow role…
As a Campus Secuirty Duty Manager, I work in a team of eight who are responsible for the coordination of the external security operation at Heathrow. The 24 hour operation involves screening at all control posts, security patrols of the airfield and responding to security incidents.
What skills did your military career allow you to bring to the HAL?
During my service I completed several roles within the RAF Police but I found Air Transport Security the most rewarding . In my early days as an RAF Policeman in Northolt I was required to provide specialist security search of all aircraft transporting the royal family, members of parliament and senior military officials. I even had the honour of flying on the aircraft to provide on the ground security at the destination.
I also served in Afghanistan tasked with screening all UK and Coalition troops flying on-board UK aircraft and provided advice on airfield and aircraft protection to senior military commanders. My final years in the RAF were at Brize Norton and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus where I ran the airport security team to ensure aircraft and airfield security and acted as aviation security liaison to UK forces. My entire service life was spent on both on hostile and friendly airfields and so working at a large international airport seemed the natural progression for me.
What does London Poppy Day and Remembrance Day mean to you?
I have always felt strongly about Poppy and Remembrance Day as I find it humbling to look at the sacrifices men and women made during this country’s history. Sadly, I have lost friends in recent conflicts and it’s important for me to take time to reflect on their sacrifices and their impact on me. It’s important to support the work done to support the families of the fallen, as well as those who will bear the scars of war both physically and mentally for the rest of their lives.
Most enjoyable part of your role here at Heathrow?
I love how varied the role can be! I enjoy the fact that every shift is different and I always go home with different stories to tell. There is also a great team within campus and I enjoy the interaction I have with the staff. There is a lot of experience in Campus Security and we all support each other when in counts.
A fond memory….
It’s a bit cliché but it has to be the arrival of Annabelle. I have done some amazing things in my life but this topped them all!
What was your favourite thing about being in the military?
It has to be the opportunities I was given; I travelled all over the world working in some fantastic places and meeting some amazing people. There were some hard times but a great team ethic ensured we would get the job done. During my thirteen years of service, I was in a Mountain rescue team, a bobsleigh pilot, a teacher and a mentor working all over Europe and the Middle East. There aren’t many jobs that give you that!
Tell us who is your biggest hero and why?
Well, it has to be the person who has been with me through thick and thin, supported all my good and not so good ideas and endured two days of labour to give me a beautiful baby girl……my lovely wife, Natalie!
NOTE: This article was originally published in 2013.