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Published: 01 Dec 2021

Jason is an Aussie, a Pinger, a Goldfish and a heritage ‘nut’. He retired from the RN after a thirty-year career as an Observer, flying the Sea King Mk 6, S70-B2 Seahawk with the RAN and the Merlin HM Mk1. He is an Observer Instructor, Warfare Instructor and, following a ditching in September 1998, a member of the Goldfish Club.

He has deployed across the globe in a variety of Frigates, RFA’s and Carriers on numerous operations from the West Indies to the Solomon Islands, via the Adriatic, Bosnia and Oman, and held staff appointments in NCHQ and with EUFOR in Bosnia. He has Commanded twice; 814 NAS for a six-week period whilst deployed, and secondly 820 Squadron from 2008 to 2011. During his tenure, the Squadron deployed in HMS OCEAN to the Far East for six months for TAURUS 09 where he was the TAG CO for five different aircraft types and over four hundred personnel, before deploying for eighteen months ashore in Oman, and the very short-notice deployment for Op HUNT and the potential NEO from Yemen in RFA ARGUS. The Squadron enjoyed considerable success in 2010/11 being awarded a ‘clean sweep’ of awards – the first time this has ever been achieved. In addition, he led the charge in reigniting awareness and pride in a rich FAA heritage. He handed over Command of 820 in December 2011, having become the longest serving Front-Line CO in Fleet Air Arm history. He was awarded the OBE in 2012.

Leaving the cockpit in 2012, he spent two years as The Commander of BRNC Dartmouth (potentially the first SL ‘shag’ aviator to do so), before returning to RNAS Culdrose as Commander Air & Training, becoming its longest serving ‘Wings’ in Culdrose’s seventy-year history. He assumed the role of Executive Officer for the Air Station in October 2017 and retired after thirty years’ service in November 2019. 

Married, with six children and two mad Labradors, Commander Phillips lives in Helston. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for over 30 years, he is a Master Air Navigator and Upper Freeman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, Alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. He is the Newsletter Editor and Archivist of the Goldfish Club, Trustee of a local charity and maintains an interest in Antarctic exploration and leadership, is and is a self-confessed Fleet Air Arm heritage ‘nut’ with an armchair passion for all Australian sporting teams.


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