The Royal Navy has welcomed its newly appointed Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff at a handover ceremony in Portsmouth.
Vice Admiral Phil Jones has taken up the role from outgoing Fleet Commander, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, who will continue his NATO role, Commander Maritime Command, in Northwood, North London.
Addressing Royal Navy personnel Vice Admiral Jones said it was an immense privilege to be invited to take up the role and that it was a proud moment for himself, his wife and three children.
“I’m lucky to find myself taking over the Fleet Commander role at a time when there are so very many professional, energetic, and above all, committed people on the Navy Command team.
“A team committed to generating and supporting maritime forces operating on a front line that stretches from the South Atlantic to the Northern Gulf, from the Straits of Hormuz, to the Caribbean, from the coastline of Somalia, to the vehicle check points of Nad-e-Ali in Helmand.”
Vice Admiral Jones said that he would continue to make the strongest possible case for future investment in the Royal Navy in order to ensure the nation’s security and prosperity.
He added that the Royal Navy was held in high regard by other navies and that few other nations were able to match the range of activities carried out by the Royal Navy.
“We are in that place because we – more than anyone else in Defence – understand our business and we understand our environment, where the land, sea and air all meet,” he said.
“And while we understand the need to seek continuous improvement, we are smart enough to try and do it in manageable steps. That is key to our success.”
Vice Admiral Jones also thanked Admiral Zambellas for leaving a powerful legacy which is operationally focussed and hungry to succeed in all areas.
Naval Today Staff, December 5, 2012; Image: Royal Navy