Coachlines - October 2022

27.10.22 The Clerk

Commando Helicopter Force has a new Commanding Officer

Colonel Mark Johnson Royal Marines

Mark joined the Royal Marines as graduate of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1997. He completed a variety of junior officer appointments before being awarded his ‘Wings’ in 2004. His first frontline flying appointment was with 847 NAS as a Gazelle pilot, which included a deployment to Northern Ireland for four months on exchange with the Army Air Corps. Conversion to the Junglie Sea King followed thereafter and he has since served on 845 & 846 NAS in a variety of roles. These have covered operational deployments to Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, and exercises and amphibious deployments across the globe. His command highlights encompassed the first CHF flight to deploy on Op HERRICK and the Joint Helicopter Command’s amphibious Aviation Task Force.

Shore appointments included a tour as the lead OF3 planner within JHC: responsible for returning Apache to sea prior to Op ELLAMY, extraction of JHC assets from Iraq and the introduction of Wildcat BRH. At OF4 he has predominantly worked in the MOD: accountable for Defence’s contribution to counter-piracy and counterterrorism across both East and West Africa, in the Finance and Military Capability directorate as the desk-lead for the National Security Capability Review, Modernising Defence Programme, and the NATO Readiness Initiative. Latterly he was the lead for pan-FAA aviation capability management within NCHQ. At OF5 he has just completed a tour in the MOD as Deputy Head CT & UK Ops, covering an exceptional and fast-paced period of crisis management for Defence’s contribution to UK resilience and security operations.

He is a graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course (MA in Defence Studies, King’s College London) and is an Alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust and the London School of Economics. Married to Amanda (Specialist CT Radiographer for the NHS), they have three children and share the family home in Sherborne with three generations of Labradors. He enjoys most outdoor pursuits and Asian cooking in his little remaining spare time.

Mark assumed his appointment as the CO of the Commando Helicopter Force in July 2022. He is accountable for the airworthiness, maintenance, and safety of all air systems within the CHF area of responsibility. This includes their generation for task and operational effectiveness in accordance with direction from the Joint Helicopter Command. He is looking forward to meeting the Coachmakers when he joins the Master and guests at the Aerospace Industry Dinner at Clothworkers’ Hall on 8th November 2022.