New Commanding Officer for Clyde based bomb disposal experts

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts at HM Naval Base Clyde have a new Commanding Officer (CO) with the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Chris Stephenson.

Chris, who has previously served as Mine Counter Measures Staff Officer to the Faslane Flotilla, takes over from Lieutenant Commander Tony Hampshire as CO of Northern Diving Group (NDG).

Tony commanded the unit from January 2016 to July 2018 and now it’s time for something new – and it’s not just a new job for Tony as he is all set to up sticks with his family and move over 3,000 miles away to start a new life in Canada, as part of an exchange programme with the Canadian government.

Speaking of his time as Commanding Officer of NDG, Tony said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to Command Northern Diving Group for the past 30 months.

“To be the figurehead of a team of professional and capable operational clearance divers has been the pinnacle of my Royal Navy career, and it is with great sadness that I move on to the next challenge.”

New CO, Lieutenant Commander Chris Stephenson, successfully completed his Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Course in 2004 and then deployed as Operations Officers and Executive Officer on board HMS Chiddingfold where he took the ship from refit and then deployed to the Gulf to conduct mine clearance operations in Iraqi waterways.

More recently, he was appointed Chief of Staff (COS) to Commander 1st Mine Counter Measures Squadron prior to commencing duties as the COS to Mine Warfare Battle Staff.

This deployment encompassed many high-profile exercises in the Gulf region, involving multi-national Mine Counter Measures forces.

On his return from the Gulf, Chris took up further duties with Mine Counter Measures Squadrons and an appointment with UK Maritime Battle Staff before assuming Command of the Northern Diving Group on 25 July 2018.

Chris said: “It is with significant pride that I take over as Commanding Officer of Northern Diving Group and look forward to leading the group in continuing to provide a high readiness capability for Diving and Bomb Disposal to the Fleet.”

It is with significant pride that I take over as Commanding Officer of Northern Diving Group

Lieutenant Commander Chris Stephenson RN