207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY

Officers Commanding 207 (Reserve) Squadron

Squadron Leader AE Dolding 2002-04

On 12th July 2002 it was decided that No.2 Flying Training Squadron 1 FTS would inherit 207 Squadron's distinguished identity as No.207 (Reserve) Squadron - more information on this via the Formation of 207(R) link.

207 began life as No.7 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service in 1916, becoming 207 Sqn RAF on 1 April 1918. 207's long history is given via the 207 Squadron RAF Association link.

207R's first Commanding Officer was Squadron Leader Al Dolding, shown here with possible badge designs for the new Squadron on his desk.

Sqn Ldr Dolding flew the Jaguar on 6 Sqn and the Tornado GR1 on Nos. XV, 17(F), 14 and 31 Sqns as well as instructing at Cottesmore. He was a member of the RAAF Formation Aerobatic team whilst with CFS RAAF. He is married, with three children.

Al's first Association duty was to attend the funeral mid 1950s 207 CO Sqn Ldr Peter Gibbs. Al was OC207 when Prince Andrew presented the New Squadron Standard in November 2003 and attended Association Reunions, delighting us all by bringing along something special at the 2004 Reunion, just before he handed the Squadron to Paul Stockley.

Al stayed at Linton as Deputy CFI 1FTS. He became the first ex-207R member of the Squadron Association and was then Executive Officer on 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming.

He has returned to Linton as a QFI on 72(R) Squadron.

Alan Mawby OBE at the time a senior QFI on the Squadron (who earlier in his career had been OC 2 Squadron 1FTS) succeeded Phil Kemp as Association Liaison Officer. Though now retired Alan Mawby is heavily involved with the History Room at Linton and is Chairman of 214 Sqn Association. 214 has historical links with 207. Alan was a member of the 207 Squadron Royal Air Force Association's Committee and for several years has been looking after the History Room at Linton. When Alan retired he was succeeded as ALO by Paul Stockley.


Sqn Ldr Paul Stockley RAF Sep 2004 - Dec 2005

Paul Stockley (ex-RNZAF) took over the Squadron from Al Dolding on 13 September 2004. He had played a major role in the organisation of the Presentation of the Standard in November 2003 and was Association Liaison Officer.

On appointment as OC he was succeeded as ALO by Lt Peter Lumsden RN. Paul resigned from the Air Force in 2005 with a view to returning to New Zealand and a new career. Sqn Ldr Jack Christen BSc MEng RAF took over on 2 Jan 2006.

Paul became OC RNZAF Pilot Training Squadron, based at RNZAF Base Ohakea, so pretty much doing the same job as when he was at Linton.


Sqn Ldr Jack Roger Roland Christen BSc MEng RAF
OC 207(R) Squadron, 2 Jan 2006 - 22 Nov 2007

Sqn Ldr Christen was born in 1954 to a German mother and a Polish father. Secondary education was at Bolton County Grammar School where he was captain of the school badminton team and received colours in athletics and swimming.

He studied Physics at Liverpool University and went on to gain a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering based on research involved in semiconductor materials. Whilst at Liverpool his enthusiasm for sport continued gaining colours in badminton as well as representing the university in rowing and tenpin bowling.

In 1978 he successfully applied to join the Royal Air Force as a pilot.

Initial Officer Training at RAF Henlow was followed by pilot training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Valley. Weapons training was done on the Hunter at RAF Lossiemouth before being posted to the Phantom F4 and OCU conversion at RAF Coningsby. His first tour was on 111(F) Sqn at RAF Leuchars where he was the first squadron pilot to be posted down to the Falklands after the war.

Subsequent flying tours have been as a Basic QFI at RAF Cranwell, Sqn QFI on F4s on 19(F) Sqn RAF Wildenrath, 56(F) Sqn RAF Wattisham, OC Liverpool University Air Squadron. There followed two consecutive ground tours, the first with the Inspectorate of Flight Safety and the second as part of the MOD Team supporting Al Yamamah in Riyadh.

Back to his first love of flying, Sqn Ldr Christen was posted to 5(AC) Sqn at RAF Coningsby flying the F3 Tornado. On squadron disbandment he was posted to 25(F) Sqn as a QFI where he remained until 2005 when he was posted to RAF Linton-on-Ouse as a Basic instructor.

Sqn Ldr Christen, who has five children, continues with his love of sport which includes badminton, cycling and being a novice at golf. Any spare time revolves around refurbishment of his house in Lincolnshire.

He succeeded Sqn Ldr Paul Stockley RAF as OC 207 (Reserve) Squadron on Jan 2 2006. He attended the 2006 207 Squadron Association Reunion in Derby, took part in the flyover of many of 207's UK bases on the 90th Aniversary of the Squadron in November 2006 and facilitated a belated 90th Anniversary celebration at a Guest Night in June 2007.

He moved on from 207 to become Deputy Chief Instructor at 1FTS RAF Linton on Ouse in November 2007.

Flt Lt Shaun Kimberley was ALO during Jack's tenure.


Officer Commanding 207(R) Squadron
Squadron Leader Rich Saunders
23 November 2007 - dd mm 2010

Sqn Ldr Saunders was born in Worcester in 1971. After attending the Kings School Worcester he gained an Honours Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Bristol University. During his time at university he flew with Bristol University Air Squadron.

Sqn Ldr Saunders joined the Royal Air Force in 1992 and having completed Initial Officer Training at the Royal Air Force College he undertook flying training on the Firefly, Tucano, Hawk and Tornado GR1/4 aircraft. With flying training complete he was posted to 617 Sqn based at RAF Lossiemouth where he flew on operations in the middle east and participated in several large scale exercises. A further Tornado GR4 tour followed with XV(R) Sqn, again based at Lossiemouth, where he instructed ab initio Tornado pilots and navigators.

In 2004 Sqn Ldr Saunders was posted to RAF Linton on Ouse to be a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Tucano aircraft. After a short spell with 72(R) Sqn he moved to the Central Flying School to train new instructors and eventually became Officer Commanding Standards Flight. A move to Flying Wing Headquarters followed with a short spell as Deputy Chief Instructor. Sqn Ldr Saunders then moved to 207(R) Squadron, taking command of the Squadron on 23 November 2007. Sqn Ldr Saunders is single now but has a young son aged 3. In his spare time Sqn Ldr Saunders enjoys fitness training, hill walking, cricket and motorcycles!

Rich encouraged the involvment of the Association at squadron events and was a welcome guest at Association reunions.


photo courtesy of RAF Linton on Ouse

Sqn Ldr Andy Scott 2010-2012

Sqn Ldr Andy Scott was born in Plymouth and joined the Royal Air Force in 1988. Following a tour as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller at RAF Chivenor, he was commissioned and started pilot training at RAF Linton on Ouse in 1993.

On completion of his flying training, he was posted to 13 Squadron at RAF Marham on the Tornado GR4, where he completed several overseas exercises and was involved on many occasions in Operations over Iraq.

This was followed by a short tour on 9 Squadron also at RAF Marham, where again he was directly involved in flying sorties in support of Operation TELIC.

He then moved to the training role, serving at RAF Linton on Ouse as an instructor on 207(R) Sqn, before completing an out of area detachment in Iraq, supporting the UK Marine Divisional Headquarters in Basra.

On return to the UK he continued his role in the training world with a tour on XV Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth teaching new pilots and Weapons Systems Operators to fly and operate the Tornado GR4.

This was then followed by another quick tour on 9 Squadron at RAF Marham, where he completed several flying exercises and completed operational tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan before being promoted and posted to RAF Linton on Ouse, as the Commanding Officer of 207(R) Sqn in 2010.

Andy of course played a major role in 207R's Disbandment Parade on 13th January 2012 and in the Laying Up of the Standard in Lincoln Cathedral on 3rd October 2013.

Sqn Ldr Peter Surtees was Association Liaison Officer.


last update 25 Dec 13