HELSTON LAD RETURNS FOR “HAT-TRICK OF JOBS” AT CULDROSE
A Royal Navy Officer who grew up and went to school in Helston has taken over as the Executive Officer at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose.
Commander Ian Fitter, who attended Helston’s Parc Eglos and Comprehensive schools, joined the Royal Navy in 1984after reading Economics at University College London. He was awarded his Observer Wings and joined 820 Naval Air Squadron onboard HMS Ark Royal operating the Sea King Mk 5 Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter, on a six month tour ofAustraliaand theFar East. A tour as an instructor with 810 NAS followed before Ian transferred away from flying duties and completed appointments in HMS York in the Gulf and as Commanding Officer of the Patrol ship HMS Biter in 1993.
Returning to RNAS Culdrose in 1995, Ian became Flight Commander of 810 NAS’s ‘Sea Flight’ with responsibility for Operational Flying Training of ASW Sea King aircrew. A call once again to one of Culdrose’s deployable Units saw him return to 820 NAS as the Senior Observer (SOB) of the frontline squadron, and another lengthy tour to theFar East.
No stranger to Aircraft Carriers, Ian joined HMS Invincible as Operations Officer for a two year appointment during which he oversaw a period of the continued development with Joint Force Harrier embarkations and operations in theMediterranean. Returning to 820 NAS for a third time in 2001, he had an exciting two years as the Commanding Officer, including support to operations following 9/11 and a deployment on Operation TELIC in 2003; he was also selected for promotion to Commander.
His first appointment as Commander was as the Aviation Safety Manager in Royal Navy’s headquarters inPortsmouth, before taking up the reins as Officer in Charge of the Royal Navy Flight Safety Accident and Investigation Centre, (RNFSAIC) with responsibility for Flight Safety throughout Royal Navy. In 2008, he became Chief of Staff to the Naval Regional Commander,WalesandWestern England, prior to assuming duties as Commander - Air & Training (Wings) at RNAS Culdrose in March 2009. Following a second assignment as the Royal Navy’s Flight Safety Officer in 2012, Ian returned to Culdrose in 2015 and has assumed the duties of Executive Officer.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege to have taken over this position,” said Ian. “With over 30 years of Fleet Air Arm experience, much of it at Culdrose, and having been raised and educated in Helston I feel as though I can represent both sides of the very close bond that exists between my home town and my Base. During my career I’ve been lucky enough to be the CO of a Squadron at Culdrose, Wings at Culdrose and now the Executive Officer. To bag a “Hat-Trick of appointments on the finest Air Station in the Fleet Air Arm is beyond my wildest expectations.”