Commanding Officer HMS Flying Fox 2012-2015 - Highlights

On 12th November 2015 at a change of command ceremony Commander Dave ‘Dibs’ Bucknell RNR handed over HMS Flying Fox to the incoming Surgeon Commander Richard Graham RNR.

Commander Dave ‘Dibs’ Bucknell took over command of HMS Flying Fox in November 2012 and immediately set about re-organising his own command team, establishing a firm grasp on all elements of the unit.

In his first year he set the priority as ‘retention’ of all current sailors and officers with an aim to generate a firm foundation for growth; this soon developed into a ‘recruitment and retention’ focus during 2013-14 which has seen the unit grow from 85 personnel to over 160.

In 2015 the focus grew further to include a strong ‘training and deployment capable’ focus which was built on the success of the ‘recruitment and retention’. 

Commander ‘Dibs’ will leave HMS Flying Fox in a very strong position within the Maritime Reserves and the City of Bristol.

As direct evidence of this on 28th September 2015 HMS Flying Fox marked over 3000 days of continuous mobilised service since the then Lieutenant Commander Dave ‘Dibs’ Bucknell RNR deployed to Iraq during Operation TELIC.

The number actually grew to over 4600 days since 2003 with 68 individuals deploying on operations during this period, some going more than once.

Some other highlights during the period have seen the unveiling of an Operational Honours board in Sept 2014 by the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Mary Pryor MBE JP; the introduction of regular Adventurous Training for the ships company, examples include the Exercise narrow Victory (long boating); improved mobilisation support with all Fox personnel now being tracked during their time away with pastoral care and work place advice offered on return.

Commander ‘Dibs’ will leave HMS Flying Fox in a very strong position within the Maritime Reserves and the City of Bristol; it has grown in strength, grown in depth of character and has a firm foundation to continue providing operational support to the United Kingdom’s Defence.

The scene is now set for his successor to take the unit further forward beyond 2015.