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News > College News > College Sunday Guest of Honour - Commander Phil Harper

College Sunday Guest of Honour - Commander Phil Harper

12 Jan 2022
College News

The Guest of Honour at this Sunday's College Sunday is Commander Phil Harper. Phil is a current parent (Katharine U6SG / John 11PJ / Harriet 9SG) and a POP (Rosalind 2016-2021 / Evie  2013-2018 / Charles 2011-2016 ).

As a Chartered Master Mariner, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and an associate fellow of both the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Nautical Institute, Phil has a strong interest in both continuous professional development and developing strong links between the  Merchant Navy and Royal Navy. He is a freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.

He has qualified as a submariner, underwater warfare officer, specialist navigator and hydrographic surveyor. As well as navigating and commanding Royal Navy ships across  the globe for the last quarter century, he has been deeply involved in the training and  mentoring of junior officers in bridgemanship, shiphandling and staffwork. 

Previous assignments include a Hong Kong patrol vessel, mine counter measures vessels, a ballistic missile submarine, navigating a Type 23 frigate and taking the first-of-class Type 45 destroyer HMS DARING out of build.  

He was the operations officer of HMS RICHMOND, the winner of the Wilkinson Sword of Peace for lifesaving efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. Shore roles have included training navigation, both as the lead navigation instructor to Flag Officer Sea Training and the officer in charge of the navigation school. Staff jobs include working for MoD as SO1 Defence Engagement, directing staff at the Advanced Command and Staff Course and Carrier Strike Group force navigator. As the executive officer of HMS SCOTT, he spent many months in command and generated her for Antarctic patrol, and he commanded HMS ENTERPRISE, again winning the Sword of Peace for saving life off the coast of Libya. Having served as Commander Navigation of the aircraft carrier QUEEN ELIZABETH, he took command of the navigation training ship HMS SEVERN in December 2019. He has also briefly commanded MERSEY and FORTH, including a patrol of South Georgia. 

Phil and his wife, Helen, live in married quarters in Portsmouth with their six children, the eldest of whom is a Fleet Air Arm observer.


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