UK welcomes new navy chief

The Royal Navy welcomed its new First Sea Lord in a formal ceremony aboard HMS Victory on June 19.

Admiral Tony Radakin and Admiral Philip Jones during the last act of the ceremony on the quarterdeck of HMS Victory 2019. Photo: Royal Navy

Admiral Tony Radakin took over from Admiral Sir Philip Jones who stepped down after three years at the helm as First Sea Lord – and 41 years serving his nation.

Jones formally handed over command of more than 30,000 men and women, more than 90 warships, nuclear submarines and support vessels, the helicopters and jets of the Fleet Air Arm and the elite Naval infantry of the Royal Marines to the man who has been Second Sea Lord since 2018 and before that Chief of Staff of the Joint Forces Command from 2016-2018.

During his command, Adm Radakin will oversee HMS Queen Elizabeth deploying for the first time and the next of Britain’s aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, enter service.

He will also lead as the Type 26 class of frigates takes shape along with the new River-class patrol vessels coming into service and the development of the future commando force.

Within the submarine service, the new Dreadnought-class boats will begin to take shape while more Astute boats will join the fleet.

“I absolutely believe that ours is a world class navy, full of brilliant people doing great things,” said the incoming First Sea Lord.

“We are going to invest even more in the North Atlantic to maintain the freedom of maneuver for the nuclear deterrent; we will continue to become a proper, carrier task group navy; and we will develop a future commando force with more of our Royal Marines operating from sea, always ready to respond – whether that means for humanitarian assistance or war fighting.

“We are going to use technology and innovation in a much bigger way than we have been to drive everything that we do.”