July 2021

TCA  Reunion 1-4 October 2021

We are pleased to advise that our Guest Speaker will be Commander Bob Hawkins MBE RN

Many will recall Bob as the first First Lieutenent (XO) of the new carrier QUEEN ELIZABETH, where he experienced some unprecedented challenges with commissioning the first of a new class of ship.

Bob qualified as a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer and served in several TONs and MCMVs.He will have a dit or two from those times, as well as giving us a unique insight into the new ship.

Bob Hawkins grew up in Fulham and Putney, London and joined the Royal Navy at Britannia Royal Naval College in January 1978.  He has served his country as a Naval officer for over 43 years in numerous ships at sea, and headquarters and training establishments ashore, including seven appointments serving abroad in Hong Kong, USA, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia and Singapore in various operational, staff and diplomatic positions.

Trained first as a Warfare Officer, watchkeeping in and navigating ships, then sub-specialising early in 1982 as a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer, the proponents of Naval Mine Countermeasures and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.  Hawkins then further specialised in 1992 as a Principal Warfare Officer, the officer who ‘fights’ the ship on behalf of the Command, becoming a proponent of Naval Gunnery.  Later his career has been dominated by staff and sea training appointments, and having passed his Sea Command qualifications in 2000 has been honoured to serve in two Command positions at sea: firstly as Executive Officer and Second-in-Command of HMS IRON DUKE, a Type 23 Frigate, then as Commander of the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron, with the concomitant Command of HMS PURSUER, the squadron’s lead P2000 Patrol Boat.  His culminating sea service was as the First Lieutenant in the Fleet Flagship, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.

Cdr Hawkins has seen active service in a number of live operations, including: Operation BANNER, Op SHARPGUARD, Op KEELING, Op KIPION, Op IMPERIOUS, and Op SHADER, covering the diverse theatres of Northern Ireland, Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, the Arabian Gulf and wider Middle East, and in Scotland protecting the country’s nuclear deterrent submarines.

Previously widowed, Bob is married to Trudy, have three children and are delighted to be grandparents.  He makes no apologies for being an avid Fulham Football Club fan, is a former RN (Scotland) and Edinburgh Wanderers RFC rugby player, and a rider of (fast) motorbikes.  Appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 2007 New Years Honours List for “services to the Navy, and services to Youth.”   Bob’s last assignment was an Operational Tour in U.S. Central Command HQ in Tampa, and currently serves in the Maritime Operations Centre as SO1 Homeland, responsible for Maritime Security and UK Resilience Ops in the UK Marine Area.