RAF Odiham has welcomed back former OC 27 Sqn, Gp Capt Nick Knight as the new Station Commander succeeding Gp Capt Lee Turner after 2 years at the helm of this incredibly busy Station.
Gp Capt Knight has a vast experience of the Support Helicopter force, commissioning into the British Army in 1996 he flew the Lynx helicopter before securing a temporary move to Chinook in 2001, becoming a permanent change of Service in 2004. With a wealth of command experience including roles at Joint Helicopter Command, No 1 Group and DCOM JAG, Gp Capt Knight has deployed on Ops HERRICK and TORAL and led a detachment in support of the Nepalese earthquake during Op LAYLAND: for his time in command he was awarded an OBE. Gp Capt Knight returns to the Station from the role of Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff.
On taking over command he said:
“It is with a great sense of privilege and pride that I take command of RAF Odiham. The Chinook is iconic with an exemplary reputation both at home and on operations overseas. I am delighted to be working alongside Odiham’s talented and dedicated people”.
Gp Capt Turner joined the station just weeks before the Chinook Force was tasked to support the hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. This busy introduction to the job continued with the Chinook supporting multiple exercises around the globe as well as deploying on a new operation in Mali supporting our French allies. He leaves the Station weeks after seeing the Sqns deploy on UK based operations containing flooding in Lincolnshire as well as bolstering the dam at Whaley Bridge.
After a traditional pennant hand-over ceremony and Guard of Honour, Gp Capt Turner was escorted off the Station to the applaud of the gathered Officers and Airmen who lined the route. He was presented with his command pennant at the main gate and shared a glass of champagne before addressing the Station.
Reflecting on his time in command:
“It has been an enormous privilege to have commanded Royal Air Force Odiham and the Chinook Force for the last 2 years during an incredibly busy operational period both at home and abroad. Throughout it has been the professionalism, technical excellence and dedication of the people that has been hugely impressive, and I wish them and the new Station Commander, Gp Capt Knight, the very best of success in the future.”
Moving on from RAF Odiham he will be attending the Royal College of Defence Studies in London before taking on his next appointment. We thank him for his time guiding the Station through the numerous challenges and opportunities the Chinook Force offers and wish him and his family all the best for the future.
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