OBs in the Military Lt Cdr Rob Backus (1986-91, OH)

Rob BackusWe were treated with a rare visit from RN Merlin this summer which many members of the CCF and other pupils from the school had a firsthand tour of this huge helicopter. Rob is the son of Rear Admiral ‘Sandy’ Backus and brother of Alastair who also went to Blundell’s (1991-96). He grew up in Lustleigh, Devon and now lives in Thornford Dorset with wife and two young daughters.

Rob left Blundell’s in the Summer of ’91 having won the Russell 5 times and been awarded full colours for Rugby, Cross Country, Athletics and half-colours for Shooting. He was Head of Old House, CCF and a School Monitor for his final year. He loved the Ten Tors and completed his Bronze and Silver and the Scotland camp together with visits to Air Stations and Ships. He then completed a Royal Navy Flying Scholarship at St. Just, Lands End and topped it up to a Private Pilots license.

He had a bit of a gap year working as a waiter before travelling to Hong Kong and the Philippines, before joining the Royal navy in 1992 as a University Cadet Entrant. The Merlin helicopter on Big Field, summer 2010After 2 terms at Britannia Royal Navy College he passed out as an Officer and went to Southampton University where he got a 2.1 in Civil and Environmental Engineering – playing lots of Rugby in the process.

In the RN he was a Gunnery Officer and Navigating Officer of a Minesweeper before moving across to the Fleet Air Arm. After standard flying training pipeline learning Firefly fixed wing and Squirrel single engine helicopter, he was the first Abo Initio Merlin pilot in 2000. Since qualifying he has served in all 5 Merlin Squadrons, operated from all Merlin capable Ships, all around the world including hostilities off Iraq in 2003. In between flying tours he did two years as a Principal Warfare and Operations Officer in a frigate before returning as Senior Pilot on 820 NAS.

He has recently left the RN for pastures new...

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