NOPF Whidbey Island

Oak Harbor, WA
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Lieutenant Commander Graham J.S. Collins

Commanding Officer

LCDR Graham J.S. CollinsLCdr Graham J.S.Collins hails from the United Kingdom. He joined the Merchant Marine as a deck apprentice in 1977 on completion of high school. In 1982, he gained his Bachelor of Science in Nautical Studies during his time as a Deck Officer.

He joined the Royal Navy as a Lieutenant in 1987, ostensibly to conduct bridge watch keeping duties as Officer of the Watch. Other duties included Communications Officer and Diving Officer. In 1990 he completed the Long Mine warfare and Clearance Diving Officers Course and was assigned to HMS Bicester (M36) as Operations Officer where he deployed to the Middle East to assist in the allied effort to clear sea mines from around the Northern Arabian Gulf (Operation Granby).

On completion of the Gulf deployment he was assigned to HMS Sandown (M101) the first of class of the Royal Navy's Single Role Mine Hunter (SRMH) as Executive Officer. He was fortunate to be entrusted with command of the vessel for short periods whilst she conducted part IV trials.

He completed Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) training in 1995 as an Underwater Warfare specialist and joined HMS Cumberland (F85) as PWO(U); he was thrown into the deep end when his ship was ASW Commander for a CASEX A8 during a Joint Maritime Course in the littoral waters off the West Coast of Scotland. He was promoted to LCdr in 1996. After an 18 month seagoing appointment, which included a major NATO ASWEX and a three month deployment to the East Coast of the USA for Exercise Purple Warrior, he was posted to the Joint Operational Theatre at British Forces Falkland Islands as the maritime advisor. After 6 months he rejoined HMS Cumberland as Operations Officer and participated in several more joint and multinational exercises.

In 1997 he was assigned to the School of Maritime Operations (SMOPS) HMS Dryad as TAC MW where he taught the Advanced Minewarfare course to RN and NATO officers. During his time at SMOPS he gained the Royal Navy Command Qualification.

Collins was appointed to the United Kingdom Maritime Battle Staff as Underwater Warfare Staff Officer in 1999. He participated in a Joint Task Force exercise (JTFEX 00-1)whilst embarked in USS Mount Whitney (JCC 20) and was one of the Staff embarked in HMS Cornwall (F99) for 6 months of her 9 month around the world deployment as part of Naval Task Group 2000. The Task Group exercised with Navies from Europe, Asia, Australasia and North and South America.

From 2001 to 2005 he was the Tactical ASW instructor for Tactics and Team Training at the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School (CFNOS) in Halifax, Nova Scotia as an exchange officer. Here he taught Assistant Sensor Weapons Controllers (ASWCs), Operations Room Officers (OROs) and Helicopter Controllers (HCs) the fundamentals of Active and Passive ASW tactics in a Command Team environment. This was followed by 3 years in Den Helder, The Netherlands as ASW tactics officer in the Dutch / Belgian Naval Operations School.

In 2008 LCdr Collins and his wife emigrated from the UK to Canada where he joined the Royal Canadian Navy. After a year in the HQ at Joint Task Force Atlantic as J1 Ops, he was assigned to CFNOS as the Combat Training Divisional Officer. In 2011 he was assigned to Director Naval Requirements in Ottawa and was given responsibility for Diving and EOD procurement.

2015 saw LCdr Collins appointed as Commanding Officer of the Canadian Detachment at the Naval Ocean Processing Facility Whidbey Island (NOPFWI) in Washington State. This will be his penultimate posting before he retires in 2021.

LCdr Collins holds dual Canadian and British Citizenship.