NEW COMMANDING OFFICER AT THE HELM
Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton has a new Commanding Officer.
On Tuesday, 22 September 2015, Commodore (Cdre) Jon Pentreath OBE succeeded Commodore Jock Alexander OBE at the helm of RNAS Yeovilton. This opens the next chapter in Cdre Pentreath’s 31 year career in the Royal Navy.
Before and after the formal Change of Command Ceremony, Cdre Alexander was given a stirring send-off by the military and civilian personnel at RNAS Yeovilton. In the morning he carried out a tour of ‘his’ Air Station in a McLaren 12C supercar; an opportunity offered by its owner, retired Petty Officer Phil Howell, who association with RNAS Yeovilton is linked to The Rally for Heroes charity. After formally handing over, Cdre Alexander was pulled through the lined roads of the Air Station on a traditional Royal Navy Field Gun carriage; and then he was towed in the iconic Swordfish to conclud his final rounds of the establishment. As he departed, Cdre Jock said,
“This has been a brilliant way to bow out after 38 years in the Royal Navy. Command of any Royal Navy unit is a special honour and I have immensely enjoyed my time at RNAS Yeovilton. The whole base has a key part to play in the Royal Navy while also supporting the Army Air Corps and other Defence organisations. I wish Jon Pentreath every success as he steers RNAS Yeovilton through the final stages of its transition from Lynx to Wildcat and Sea King to Merlin, and the full integration of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps. Thank you everybody.”
The new Commanding Officer, Cdre Pentreath, joined the Royal Navy in 1984 and was subsequently selected for pilot training; joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1990 as a Commando Helicopter pilot flying the Sea King. He qualified as a Lynx pilot in 1995 and in ensuing appointments and promotions has seen extensive operational service. When promoted to Captain in 2008 he became the Commanding Officer of the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) based at RNAS Yeovilton. On assuming Command of the Air Station, Cdre Pentreath said,
“I am truly delighted to be returning to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. Having served here for much of my naval career, it is both an honour and a privilege to be appointed to Command the base. There is a huge amount going on, as both Royal Navy and Army frontline units re-equip with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.”
“I will build upon the fantastic work done by my predecessor as Yeovilton continues to deliver our operational outputs effectively, efficiently and safely. I look forward to working closely with all Service and Civil Servant personnel and, just as important, their families, our contractors and those in the local communities.”