Outgoing Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Chris Stephenson, hand-over to Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw

By Gavin Carr

NORTHERN Diving Group, the Royal Navy’s team of bomb disposal experts based in Scotland, have a new Commanding Officer with the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw.
In a socially distanced ceremony on September 2, Northern Diving Group bid farewell to outgoing Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Chris Stephenson, who has been in the post since August 2018.
During his two years in charge of the Group, Chris oversaw some 164 tasks by the team, including 255 operational dives and the disposal of almost 4,000 items of explosive ordnance.
Assuming command, Lieutenant Commander Shaw said; “It is a career highlight to be given command of Northern Diving Group. It has a long and respected history and I’m humbled to be responsible for protecting that reputation as we move forward.”
The Clyde-based Group is responsible for providing military aid to civil authorities in the form of Explosive Ordnance Disposal throughout Scotland and Northern England. The team also support the Royal Navy’s ships and submarines with in-water maintenance and engineering.
The Group also supported HMS Prince of Wales during her visit to Liverpool earlier this year and have been deployed oversees to Canada, Norway and Sri Lanka.
Lieutenant Commander Stephenson will now transfer to Portsmouth where he will manage the careers of officers in the Mine Clearance Diving Branch.
On departing he said: “It has been a privilege and honour to serve as Commanding Officer to a group of highly professional and motivate divers who have never failed to deliver during a period of high-tempo operations.”

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