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22 May 2017

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A New Station Commander for RAF Shawbury

Personnel from Royal Air Force Shawbury welcomed their new Station Commander, Group Captain R S (Chuck) Norris who officially took command of RAF Shawbury on Friday 12th May 2017.

Stn Cdr Handover

Group Captain Norris joined the Royal Air Force in 1988. As a Support Helicopter pilot, he has completed tours on the Wessex and Chinook in Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and the Falkland Islands. As an A2 Qualified Helicopter Instructor, he completed a tour at the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury flying the Squirrel and was also the Training Officer on 18(Bomber) Squadron, flying Chinooks. Promoted to Squadron Leader in 2002, he commanded D Flight, 202 Squadron flying the Sea King from RAF Lossiemouth on Search and Rescue duties in the UK, also deploying to the Falkland Islands to command 78 Squadron at Mount Pleasant Airfield in 2004. He has amassed over 4500 flying hours.

Staff tours followed at Headquarters 2 Group at RAF High Wycombe as the staff officer responsible for Search and Rescue, followed by a move to MOD and the Directorate of Joint Capability where he was responsible for the RAF contribution to Joint Manoeuvre and UK Joint Personnel Recovery Policy.

Promoted to Wing Commander in 2007, he was posted to 6 (UK) Division as SO1 Air and Aviation and deployed to Afghanistan before attending the UK Advanced Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham in 2008. He was then posted to RAF Benson as the Deputy Puma and Merlin Force Commander, where he qualified and instructed on the Puma helicopter. A posting to the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood followed in Dec 2010, where has was responsible for contingency planning for all areas apart from Afghanistan and the Gulf region. A short tour as directing Staff at Shrivenham preceded his promotion in 2014 and appointment as Chief Air Operations Coordination Cell and Aviation at HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps at Imjin Barracks. In Aug 2016, he took Command of the Defence Helicopter Flying School which provides initial helicopter flying training for aircrew of the three Services and Foreign and Commonwealth countries. The School also provides advanced and multi-engine training for RAF and some RN aircrew and other specialist courses for the three Services.

Group Captain Norris said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed as Station Commander during RAF Shawbury’s centenary year and to also command the Defence Helicopter Flying School and the Defence College of Airspace Control. Both training Schools deliver world-leading training and we are fortunate to be supported by our partners and by the community in Shropshire and beyond. I very much look forward to the next few years here at RAF Shawbury as we bring into service the Juno and Jupiter helicopters which will enhance our output and capability as we transition to the Military Flying Training System. I am also delighted that the Defence College of Airspace Control continues to play a pivotal role in the ongoing transformation of Battlespace Management across the RAF.”

ENDS

Image: The outgoing Station Commander Group Capt Jason Appleton ( right) hands over command to Group Captain Chuck Norris.

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