The entire UK Navy Board – the body responsible for running the Royal UK Navy – squeezed into two of the Navy’s smallest vessels for a rare day together at sea.
Eight Admirals – including First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas – a Royal Marine Major General, two Commodores and several support staff travelled from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight for a conference at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.
They made the journey in two 20-metre ships of the First Patrol Boat Squadron – HMS Ranger and HMS Smiter.
Commander Pincher Martin, who commands the 14-strong Portsmouth-based squadron, said: “This is a significant day for the squadron. Not only it is a privilege to host the Navy Board, but it also gives them a chance to meet our junior commanding officers.
“It was an excellent opportunity for the board to see our smaller ships and for us to update them on various aspects of our work, from operational activities to engineering upgrades to our ships.”
He added: “A lot of the time our ships are unseen – we are not on the front line like our frigates or destroyers – so this has been a good opportunity to show off our contribution to the board at sea.
“Over the summer we had ships operating in Spain, France, Germany, Holland and Ireland – all helping keep the Royal Navy in the public eye.”
The Navy Board meets seven times a year, mostly in London, but on occasions heads out of the capital. Among its primary responsibilities is ensuring the Navy is fit to fight and delivers the military capability required to defend the UK and its interests.