A DAUGHTER is following in the rather dangerous footsteps of her father.
Private Blythe Heakin is aiming to become an explosives expert like her father Lt Col Eamon Heakin who has been awarded two Queen’s Gallantry Medals for operational tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq.
And 19-year-old Blythe took her first step to becoming an Ammunition Technician when she was presented with her Ammunition Technician badge by her father at a ceremony held at the Kineton-based Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment.
The Ammunition Technician course included explosive chemistry, electronics, ballistics, ammunition design, explosive storage and movement, with safety as the number one priority.
The course was split between sites at Shrivenham in Wiltshire and Kineton, which is the largest ammunition depot in Europe.
Private Heakin will go on to Shrivenham to complete her training before being posted to her new unit.
Private Heakin knew her father was attending the ceremony but did not know he would be making teh presentaions to her and her fellow graduates.
She “It was a major shock. A couple of people have made jokes that my dad would not be the presenting officer – but I was thrilled to find out that he was.”
Lt Col Heakin was proud to see his daughter following in his footsteps.
He said: “Blythe has spent her childhood in the shadows of a well-respected trade watching the various challenges which the MOD has met, and now she has transitioned into that trade herself having spent the last nine months at Shrivenham and then Kineton on what is one of the most challenging courses in defence.
“I cannot believe that she is now part of a very special trade and extended family within defence.”