Royal Navy Surface Fleet

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Royal Navy Surface Fleet
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Active 1971-current
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Size Command
Garrison/HQ Portsmouth, England
Commanders
Current
commander
Rear-Admiral Paul Bennett

The Surface Fleet originally called the Fleet and known internationally as the British Fleet is the main Naval formation of the Royal Navy it consists of a collection of surface vessels (as opposed to submarines or aircraft). It is currently commanded Rear-Admiral Paul Bennett.[1] At present it consists of two flotillas based at HMNB Portsmouth and HMNB Devonport, both located on the south coast of England, and a flotilla based at HMNB Clyde, Faslane, Scotland. The Surface Fleet consists of a wide variety of vessels, ranging from aircraft carriers to mine countermeasures vessels to offshore patrol vessels, but the backbone of the fleet consists of destroyers (type 45) and frigates (type 23).

The surface fleet is continually engaged in numerous operations a worldwide basis. Closer to home, the surface fleet also conducts Fishery Protection Patrols around UK waters, in a formal agreement with DEFRA. The Fishery Protection Squadron is the largest front line squadron in the Royal Navy.

History

After World War Two, the Royal Navy re-established its pre-war pattern of fleet and command structure. The world-wide deployment of the navy was administered by the Admiralty until 1964 when this government ministry was amalgamated with the Ministry of Defence mainly using geographic commands. Each command usually consisted of either fleets, flotillas, squadrons and individual ships. Between 1954 and 1971 these commands were either abolished or merged into fewer but larger commands.[2]

After 1951 the term flotilla applied to the higher command organisation of squadrons in the Home and Mediterranean Fleets. The squadrons of the Home Fleet were grouped under a Flag Officer, Flotillas, Home Fleet becoming the main seagoing flag officer. A similar arrangement applied to the Flag Officer, Flotillas, Mediterranean Fleet.[3] In the Far East the Flag Officer 5th Cruiser Squadron became Flag Officer 2nd in Command with similar seagoing duties. [4] Increasingly the term 'Submarine Flotilla' was used to describe the squadrons under command of the Flag Officer, Submarines. [5] In 1967 the Home and Mediterranean Fleets were merged to form the Western Fleet. [6]

By the end of 1969 all remaining home commands were unified into a single office of the Commander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command, (CINCNAVHOME). The office was originally held by a four star admiral they responsible for administering the military unit Naval Home Command which was made up of all naval units that were not ships or submarines such as naval bases and establishments, and staff under the post.

In November 1971, further consolidation by the Ministry of Defence resulted in the Western Fleet being amalgamated with the Far East Fleet to form a single fleet command, commonly known as Fleet Command or FLEET. This command was initially administered by a four star admiral who held the title Commander-in-Chief Fleet, [7] they were based at Northwood Headquarters, Middlesex, England. It was supported by Naval Home Command.[8] Between 1971 and 2002 the Fleet or British Fleet was divided into five major sub-commands administered by five flag officers, Flag Officer, Carriers and Amphibious ships (previously known as Flag Officer, Aircraft Carriers, Flag Officer, First Flotilla, Flag Officer, Second Flotilla, Flag Officer, Surface Fleet and Flag Officer, Third Flotilla.[9] In 1992 Fleet Headquarters moved to Portsmouth.

Between 1990 and 1992 the system was changed the Third Flotilla was abolished and the remaining First, Second Flotilla's were re-designated under new names known as the Surface Flotilla Command under the Flag Officer, Surface Flotilla (FOSF) who was - responsible for operational readiness and training [10] and the other United Kingdom Task Group (Command) under the Flag Officer, UK Task Group (FOUKTG) who would - command any deployed task group. [11]

In 2001 both of these commands were unified into a single command known as United Kingdom Maritime Forces Command responsible for administering the SURFACE FLEET under the Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces then reporting to (CINCFLEET). He administered three sub-commands called, UK Task Group, Carrier Strike Group and DepCom UK Maritime Forces Command each of these are commanded by a Commodore. In 2012 the posts of (CINCNAVHOME) and (CINCFLEET) were abolished leading to the creation of a single fleet high command, administered by a Fleet Commander, (COMMFLEET) holding Vice-Admiral Rank who is currently based at headquarters Navy Command in Portsmouth, England.[12]. In 2015 Faslane Flotilla came under the command of the re-established post of Rear-Admiral Submarines who reports to the Fleet Commander.

Of note: Devonport and Portsmouth Flotillas are currently administered by the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Support), (ACNS Spt). [13]

Commander in Chief Fleet

In 1971, with the withdrawal of British forces from East of Suez, the Far East and Western fleets of the Royal Navy were unified under a single Commander-in-Chief Fleet, a member of both the Admiralty and Navy Boards he was initially a four star admiral based at HMS Warrior, a land base at Northwood in Middlesex and, from 2004, based at HMS Excellent at Portsmouth. Thereafter there were just two Commanders-in-Chief, the various fleet commands. In April 2012, the role was re-designated Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff.

Fleet Commander

Established 2012 the Fleet Commander and member of the Admiralty Board and Navy Board he is responsible for the operation, resourcing and training of the ships, submarines and aircraft, and personnel, of the Naval Service. He provides ships, submarines and aircraft ready for operations he the current post holder is he is based at Navy Command and is a three star admiral.

The Fleet 1971-1981

Included:[14]

Carriers and Amphibious Ships

Included:[16][17]
Office of the Flag Officer, Carriers and Amphibious Ships, (FOCAS) - 12.79 re-titled Flag Officer, Third Flotilla, (FO3FLOT) [18] - reporting to (CINCFLEET)

Flag officers commanding

First Flotilla

Included:[19]
Office of the Flag Officer, First Flotilla, (FO1FLOT) - reporting to (CINCFLEET), (1971–1990)

Flag officers commanding

Second Flotilla

Included:[20]

Office of the Flag Officer, Second Flotilla, (FO2FLOT), (Cruiser flagship) - reporting to (CINCFLEET), (1971–1990)

Flag officers commanding

Third Flotilla

Included:[21]

Flag officers commanding

Office of the Flag Officer, Third Flotilla, (FO3FLOT) - reporting to (CINCFLEET), (1979–1992)

The Fleet 1981-2002

First Flotilla

Included:[23][24][25]

Office of the Flag Officer, First Flotilla, based at HMNB Portsmouth, (1971–1990)

Flag officers commanding

Second Flotilla

Included:[26]
Office of the Flag Officer, Second Flotilla, based at HMNB Devonport, (1971–1992)

Flag officers commanding

Third Flotilla

Included:[27]
Office of the Flag Officer, Third Flotilla, (FO3FLOT), based at HMNB Portsmouth - reporting to (CINCFLEET), (1979–1992)

Flag officers commanding

Surface Flotilla

Included:[28]
Office of the Flag Officer, Surface Flotilla, (FOSF) - reporting to (CINCFLEET), (1990–1991)

Flag officers commanding

United Kingdom Task Group

Included:[29]
Office of the Commander, United Kingdom Task Group - reporting to (CINCFLEET)

Commanders

The Surface Fleet 2002-current

United Kingdom Maritime Forces command

Included:[31]

Office of the Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces, (1993-current) - reporting to (CINCFLEET) to 2012 then (FLEETCOMM)


Note the post holder formal title is Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships. [32]

Flag officers commanding

Deputy Commander UK Maritime Forces Command
Included:[33]
Office of the Deputy Commander UK Maritime Forces, (DCOMUKMARFOR) - reporting to (COMUKMARFOR), (2011-2016)
Commodores commanding
  • Commodore Simon J. Ancona: January-June 2011
  • Commodore John R.H. Clink: June 2011-October 2012
  • Commodore Jeremy J.F.Blunden: October 2012-February 2015
  • Commodore Guy A. Robinson: February 2015-September 2016
UK Task Group
Included:[34]
Office of the Commander, UK Task Group, (COMATG) - reporting to (COMUKMARFOR), (2001–2011)
Commodores commanding
  • Commodore Hugh A.H.G. Edleston: April 2001-January 2002
  • Commodore James R. Fanshawe: January-December 2002
  • Commodore Richard D. Leaman: January-June 2003
  • Commodore Anthony J. Rix: November 2003-January 2006
  • Commodore Bruce N.B. Williams: January 2006-December 2007
  • Commodore Duncan L. Potts: December 2007-December 2008
  • Commodore James A. Morse: December 2008-January 2011
Carrier Strike Group
Included:[35]
Office of the Commander, Carrier Task Group (COMCSG) - reporting to (COMUKMARFOR) (2006-2011) and (2016-current)
Commodores commanding
  • Commodore Alan D. Richards: 2006-July 2007
  • Commodore Thomas A. Cunningham: July 2007-April 2009
  • Commodore Simon J. Ancona: April 2009-January 2011
Group disbanded
  • Commodore Jeremy P. Kyd: February 2015-September 2016
  • Commodore Andrew Betton: September 2016-

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Surface fleet: Royal Navy". www.royalnavy.mod.uk. MOD UK. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  2. ^ Smith, Gordon. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013: Summary of Fleet Organisation 1972-1981". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 12 July 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Smith.2015.
  4. ^ Smith.2015.
  5. ^ Smith.2015.
  6. ^ Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 9781848320437. 
  7. ^ "Maritime Affairs". The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal. 101: 404. 1971. 
  8. ^ Smith.2015.
  9. ^ Smith.2015.
  10. ^ Smith.2015.
  11. ^ Smith.2015.
  12. ^ "New Fleet Commander appointed to Royal Navy - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. MOD 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  13. ^ Defence, Ministry of. "THE NAVY DIRECTORY 2016:Seniority Lists of Officers on the Active List:" (PDF). royalnavy.mod.uk. Royal Navy p.8, 1 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Treacher, Sir John (1 November 2004). "4: Master and Commander". Life at Full Throttle. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473815964. 
  15. ^ Smith.2015.
  16. ^ Treacher, Sir John (2004). Life at Full Throttle. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 135. ISBN 9781844151349. 
  17. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. p.84, Colin Mackie, December 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  18. ^ Tailyour, Ewen Southby (1990). Reasons in Writing A Commandos View of the Falklands War. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 113. ISBN 9781844150144. 
  19. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  20. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  21. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  22. ^ Smith.2015.
  23. ^ Brown, David (1987). The Royal Navy and Falklands War. Pen and Sword. p. 53. ISBN 9781473817791. 
  24. ^ Smith, Gordon. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013:FLEET ORGANISATION, 1981-2002". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 12 July 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  25. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  26. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  27. ^ Mackie.pp.215-217.
  28. ^ Mackie.p.215.
  29. ^ Mackie.p.218.
  30. ^ Smith.2015.
  31. ^ "The Navy Directory: KEY PERSONNEL COMMANDER OPERATIONS" (PDF). royalnavy.mod.uk. p.13, MOD, 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  32. ^ "Rear Admiral P M Bennett (Paul) CB OBE Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships" (PDF). www.royalnavy.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence UK 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  33. ^ Mackie.p.218-219.
  34. ^ Mackie.p.218-219.
  35. ^ Mackie.p.218-219.

References

  • Brown, David (1987). The Royal Navy and Falklands War. Barsley, England: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473817791.
  • MOD "Surface fleet: (2017) Royal Navy". www.royalnavy.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence, London, England.
  • Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848320437.
  • Smith, Gordon. (2015) "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013: * Smith, Gordon. (2015) "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013: FLEET ORGANISATION 1955-1971". www.naval-history.net.
  • Smith, Gordon. (2015) "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013: Summary of Fleet Organisation 1972-1981". www.naval-history.net.
  • Smith, Gordon. (2015) "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013: FLEET ORGANISATION, 1981-2002". www.naval-history.net.
  • Treacher, Sir John (2004). Life at Full Throttle. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781844151349.
  • The Navy Directory: (2017) KEY PERSONNEL: Seniority Lists of Officers on the Active List. (PDF). royalnavy.mod.uk. MOD, UK.

External links

  • Royal Navy Surface Fleet official website
  • MaritimeQuest Royal Navy Index


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