UK: New Commanding Officer at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose
Captain Mark Garratt MA FCMI FRAeS Royal Navy has taken over as the Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose from Captain Willie Entwisle OBE MVO who has moved on to a Job in London with the Ministry of Defence.
Marking his final day in charge at HMS Seahawk, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, Captain Willie Entwisle OBE MVO the outgoing Commanding Officer, said an emotional farewell to the Navy’s Cornish Air Base, in traditional Westcountry style.
Engineers and Aircrew from squadrons across the base, as well as civilian supporting staff lined a route for his departure in a “Combine Harvester” around the Base and along the main runway.
One of Captain Entwisle’s most memorable events during an exciting and eventful 18 months in charge was the Olympic torch arrival from Greece to RNAS Culdrose, and the inevitable Media opportunities accompanying the hosting of VIPs and celebrities involved at the start of the nationwide Olympic torch relay from Lands End.
Additionally during 2012 he oversaw Culdrose Merlin and airborne early-warning Sea King helicopters deployed during the 2012 London Olympics and the resurfacing of runways at the Air Station.
For all these achievements during the year, RNAS Culdrose was awarded the prestigious Bambara Flight Safety Trophy for 2012.
Captain Entwisle said:
“It’s been a great honour to have commanded RNAS Culdrose working with aviators, engineers and civilians.
“Not everyone gets to run their own Royal Navy Air Station, I feel immensely proud to have done so.”
New commanding offcer, Captain Mark Garratt, joined the Royal Navy in 1980 and after fleet training spent his early career as a bridge watch keeping officer and Fighter Controller in Type 42 Destroyers.
Following basic helicopter training at RNAS Culdrose, he qualified as a Lynx pilot, serving in 829 and 815 Naval Air Squadrons as Flight Pilot in HM Ships Broadsword and Manchester and Flight Commander in HMS Alacrity.
After a tour as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor in 702 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Portland, he commanded HMS Shetland, conducting UK Fisheries and Maritime Security patrols. He then moved to the staff of Flag Officer Naval Aviation as Aviation Standards Officer.
After joint staff training, he was promoted to Commander, returning to FONA as Staff Operations Officer and then subsequently serving as Commander Air of RNAS Yeovilton before completing appointments in the Ministry of Defence and the Operations Division of the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.
Promoted to Captain in 2007, he served in Navy Command HQ in Portsmouth and was responsible for the generation of the Royal Navy’s amphibious forces. He then attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2011.
Prior to assuming command of RNAS Culdrose, he served in the Ministry of Defence as a Deputy Director responsible for delivering a number of key aviation programmes.
Naval Today Staff, April 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy