Commander Ben Franklin has recently taken Command of the Merlin Helicopter Force based at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall. An experienced aviator (over 3000 hours flying), Ben has had an enjoyable and demanding career to date which has prepared him ideally for this key post.
Previous appointments have included service in all three of the Royal Navy’s “Invincible” Class Aircraft Carriers, Second in Command of the first Merlin equipped front-line unit 814 Naval Air Squadron, and Command of 829 Squadron: 829 Squadron is the parent unit for all of the Merlin helicopters that deploy onboard Frigates and Destroyers.
Commander Franklin said: "Fleet Air Arm through and through, I am extremely proud to have been selected to Command the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk1 Helicopter Force. One of the inaugural Merlin Mk1 aircrew, it is a privilege to now be in charge of a Force that delivers integrated maritime aviation world-wide."
Settled in Cornwall, Commander Franklin is married with two children.