Stenhousemuir serviceman is a real warrior

Lt Kevin McMorrow in the Operations Room of HMS Illustrious. Picture: Ray Jones
Lt Kevin McMorrow in the Operations Room of HMS Illustrious. Picture: Ray Jones

A serviceman from Stenhousemuir is engaged in the Europe-wide “Exercise Joint Warrior” as he awaits the birth of his first child.

Lieutenant Kevin McMorrow (28) is one of the hundreds of personnel involved in the Royal Navy’s largest naval exercise of the year off the north west coast of Scotland. An air traffic controller aboard the navy’s last Invincible class aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, the former Beaconhurst School pupil’s mind is on his home in Gosport, Hampshire, and wife Beth, who is due to give birth in May.

However, he is also playing an integral part in this massive naval exercise which involves all three UK Armed Services and many visiting units from allied nations such as the US, France, The Netherlands and Denmark, with responsibility for the safe and expeditious control of all aircraft, keeping them separated from other airspace users and restricted areas and airspace.

He said: “It can be a pretty fast-paced job at times and you really need to think quickly. It keeps you on your toes.”

Tough challenges are nothing new to Kevin, who is looking forward to taking on his role as a new dad next month.

Son of the former commanding officer of Grangemouth Air Cadets, Tom McMorrow, he joined the Royal Navy in 2005 and, after completing his officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Devon, became an air traffic controller.

After serving in Afghanistan on board HMS Illustrious, Kevin and the carrier crew helped with the relief efforts in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

He said: “It’s probably the busiest I’ve been since joining the ship. The aircraft were lifting tonnes of supplies ashore to help the people rebuild their lives. I feel really privileged to have been a part of it.”