820 Naval Air Squadron - new Commanding Officer. December 2011
Commander Chris Godwin has taken command of 820 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
No stranger to RNAS Culdrose, Commander Godwin trained at Culdrose on 705, 706 and 810 Naval Air Squadrons, going on to serve on 814 and 849 Front Line squadrons at sea, and from 2006 to 2008 he was the Commanding Officer of 771 Search and Rescue Squadron.
Raised and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne, Chris joined the Royal Navy as a Direct Entry Seaman Officer in September 1986 and after fleet time in HMS Hecla and HMS Nottingham, he completed Officer of the Watch Course in 1988. His first complement appointment was as Officer of the Watch in HMS Manchester which included 3 deployments to the Persian Gulf, and involvement in Operation Granby during the Gulf War.
In 1991 he assumed the duties as Navigation and Operations Officer of HMS Starling as part of the Hong Kong squadron before successfully applying for transfer to Aircrew. After Anti-Submarine Warfare pilot training he took up his first Front Line appointment with 814 Naval Air Squadron, serving the majority of his time embarked on HMS Invincible. This was followed with a second tour with 849’A’ Flight, again embarked on Invincible.
Selected for Principle Warfare Officer (PWO) training in 2000, he subsequently joined HMS Nottingham as PWO(U) before assuming the additional duties of Operations Officer for the second half of his appointment. Returning to aviation he served on 700M Operational Evaluation Unit before assuming the duties as Senior Pilot of 814 Naval Air Squadron in 2004.
Promoted to Commander in 2008, Chris then served with the newly formed NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) within the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) at Mons, Belgium. Selected for his second command whilst seconded to Kabul with the NSHQ, he returned to the UK to attend the advanced staff course before assuming command of 820 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose.
Photo: Commander Chris Godwin, (on the right of the picture) CO of 820 Naval Air Squadron. (MOD Copyright by POA(Phot) Paul A’Barrow).