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Avengers gets new boss

7 September 2016
The Royal Navy’s Observer Training Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose has a new man in charge as Lieutenant Commander Chris Newby takes over the reins on 750 Naval Air Squadron.

Operating the King Air 350 Avenger Aircraft, the squadron are an integral part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) where Royal Navy Observer trainees conduct tactically orientated basic flying training, with an airborne Tactical Mission Trainer.

Hailing from the North East, Chris grew up and went to school in Newcastle before joining the Royal Navy in 2003.

After passing out of Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth he went onto flying training and passing through 750 NAS before achieving ‘Wings’ 824 NAS on the Merlin Mk 1 in 2006. 

I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted to be at the helm of a squadron with such a prestigious past and such a bright future.

Commander Chris Newby RN

Appointed to 820 NAS he saw deployments to Sierra Leone, the Baltic and the Middle East.

Subsequently moving to 829 NAS as Flight Observer in HMS Northumberland, he deployed to the Horn of Africa where the ship was conducting multi-national counter piracy operations in support of OP Atalanta. 

On return to the home waters of the UK, he took part in a concentrated period of intense of Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations, the bread and butter of a Merlin Observer’s skill set.

On completion of a staff course and recommended for Instructor training, Chris qualified as an Observer Instructor in 2009, before re-joining 824 NAS where he spent two years instructing operational conversion courses on the Merlin Mk 1.

During this period, he was chosen as ‘Sea Flight’ Operations Officer, and responsible for the planning and execution of multiple operational conversion unit (OCU) deployments. 

Later, having graduated top of his Aviation Warfare Officers Course he completed Merlin Mk2 factory training before being appointed to 824 NAS Merlin Training Facility (MTF) as the Training Manager during type transition from Merlin Mk1 to Mk2, where his responsibilities included management of curriculum transition and simulator testing.

Promoted to Lt Cdr in 2014, Chris took up the position of the UKMFTS Rear Crew Requirements Manager for tri-service basic flying training requirements for 10 crew positions across all three services.

On taking over as CO 750 NAS Chris said, “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted to be at the helm of a squadron with such a prestigious past and such a bright future, this is most certainly the highlight of my career so far.”

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