New CO for Royal Navy Lynx Training Squadron
Commander Anthony Rimington the New Commanding Officer of 702 Naval Air Squadron is looking forward to the challenge of leading the Royal Navy’s Lynx Training Squadron. During a handover ceremony at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton Cdr Rimington took over the reins from Cdr Peter Hoare, who moves on to an appointment at the Fleet Headquarters in Portsmouth. “I have had a fantastic and rewarding time at 702 and although sad to be leaving such a great Squadron, I am delighted to be leaving it in such capable hands”, said Cdr Hoare.
702 NAS has a complement of around 160 aircrew and maintainers operating both dual control and operational Lynx variants. The primary purpose of the Squadron is to provide training for aircrew and maintenance personnel to enable them to operate in the highly demanding maritime aviation environment.
Commander Anthony Rimington joined the Royal Navy as a University Cadet in September 1991. Following Fleet Training in HMS BOXER, which included the Orient 92 Far East deployment, he went to Durham University and studied Geography, graduating in 1995. His first complement appointment was as the Navigating Officer of the Hunt Class MCMV, HMS BROCKLESBY, and included the full array of mine warfare operations around the UK, north-west Europe and the Mediterranean.
Selected for flying training as a sub-specialist, he was awarded his Wings at 702 Naval Air Squadron as a Lynx Pilot in 2000. Frontline flying tours were completed in the Caribbean conducting counter-narcotic operations, and two deployments to NATO’s Standing Naval Force Mediterranean in support of Op ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. This included a staff role in support of the Commodore during the second period.
Having trained as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor in 2003, he returned to 702 Naval Air Squadron on the instructional staff. He spent two highly enjoyable years on the squadron, the second as Senior Pilot. In 2006 he completed the Principal Warfare Officers course, qualifying as an Above Water specialist. He then joined the Fleet Flagship, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, and deployed for operations East of Suez in the Gulf of Oman. Rolled initially for Carrier Strike with the GR9 Harrier embarked, ILLUSTRIOUS then supported helicopter operations during the evacuation of UK entitled personnel from Beirut (Op HIGHBROW).
He returned to flying when selected as Senior Pilot and then Executive Officer of 815 Naval Air Squadron in 2007. Two rewarding years of support to the frontline Flights were followed by a year of study when he attended the Joint Service Command and Staff College at Shrivenham for the Advanced Command and Staff Course, and completed the MA in Defence Studies.
Selected for promotion to Commander in 2009, he was assigned to the Navy Command Headquarters. He was the desk officer responsible for Carrier Strike and Aviation within the Fleet Resources and Plans division during the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. Moving to become the lead SO1 Planner in January 2011, he led work across the Navy Command’s budget for Planning Round 12.
Cdr Rimington said, “I am delighted to be returning to the Lynx fold. It is an exciting time to be joining, and we will aim to build on the strong position 702 Sqn is in now as we face the challenges of transitioning the Force towards Wildcat.”
Cdr Rimington is married with a young family, who are very much the centre of life outside work. His wife is a lawyer who works in the City, and they base themselves in London as a consequence. A now long-retired RN Oarsman, he is an enthusiastic sports fan, following rugby, rowing and cycling in particular, and stays fit on his road bike and through running. His passions for sailing and sports cars receive rather less family enthusiasm.