HMS Bulwark gets new captain

Royal Navy’s Fleet Amphibious flagship HMS Bulwark has sailed into 2016 with a new captain and several trophy additions.

Captain James Parkin succeeded Captain Nick Cooke-Priest who departed the ship for a post in the Ministry of Defence in London.

Parkin joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1997, and has served in HM Ships Berkeley, Manchester and Somerset, commanded the patrol vessel HMS Ranger, and deployed to Baghdad to work in the US-led Multinational Force HQ.

The new commander commandeded HMS Montrose from 2012 to 2014, and conducted deployments to the Middle East, Mediterranean and Baltic.

He also worked in the Ministry of Defence from 2014 to 2015 and was selected for promotion to Captain in 2015.

When it comes to awards, HMS Bulwark’s performance during 2015 has been recognized once again with the Royal Navy’s Capital Ship Fleet Effectiveness Trophy.

The award recognized unwavering performance through 2015 including migrant search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, the poignant 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign and the Cougar 15 deployment to the Mediterranean, which included security support to two summits in Malta.

HMS Bulwark has also bagged a number of other awards including the Desmond Wettern Trophy for 2015, awarded to the Ship considered to have done most to project a positive image of the Royal Navy.

The Ship was also a finalist for the Plymouth Herald’s ‘Pride of Plymouth’ awards and her sports teams have equally triumphed gaining a Fleet Sports trophy, whilst being narrowly pipped for a second.

Captain Parkin said: “I am hugely honoured to assume Command of HMS Bulwark. The ship has a demanding future programme to meet and a faultless reputation for sustained excellence in high profile situations.”

HMS Bulwark has taken a short break for Christmas alongside in her home port of Plymouth and will conduct a short period of training and maintenance prior to participation in a varied programme of exercises and operations through the next year.

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