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RNAS Culdrose

RNAS Culdrose

Home to the Royal Navy’s Merlins plus a sizable proportion of its Sea Kings, Culdrose – just outside Helston on the Lizard Peninsula – is the largest helicopter base in Europe with some 75 aircraft and 3,000 personnel. It is the biggest single-site employer in Cornwall, pumping £100m into the local economy every year.

COMMANDING OFFICER

Mark Garratt

RANK:
Captain
JOINED:
1980
SPECIALISATION:
Warfare
PREVIOUS UNITS:
702 NAS, 815 NAS
Military experience

Captain Mark Garratt joined the Royal Navy in 1980 and after fleet training spent his early career as a bridge watch keeping officer and Fighter Controller in Type 42 Destroyers.

Following basic helicopter training at RNAS Culdrose, he qualified as a Lynx pilot, serving in 829 and 815 Naval Air Squadrons as Flight Pilot in HM Ships Broadsword and Manchester and Flight Commander in HMS Alacrity.

After a tour as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor in 702 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Portland, he commanded HMS Shetland, conducting UK Fisheries and Maritime Security patrols. He then moved to the staff of Flag Officer Naval Aviation as Aviation Standards Officer.

After joint staff training, he was promoted to Commander, returning to FONA as Staff Operations Officer and then subsequently serving as Commander Air of RNAS Yeovilton before completing appointments in the Ministry of Defence and the Operations Division of the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.

Promoted to Captain in 2007, he served in Navy Command HQ in Portsmouth and was responsible for the generation of the Royal Navy’s amphibious forces. He then attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2011.

Prior to assuming command of RNAS Culdrose, he served in the Ministry of Defence as a Deputy Director responsible for delivering a number of key aviation programmes.


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