Royal Navy Appoints New Top Officer

Adm. Radakin at his appointment ceremony, June 19 (Royal Navy)

Published Jun 19, 2019 1:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Admiral Tony Radakin has taken over from Admiral Sir Philip Jones as Britain’s most senior sailor. Adm. Jones has stepped down after three years as First Sea Lord and 41 years serving the UK. 

Adm. Radakin has been Second Sea Lord since 2018, and previously served as Chief of Staff of the UK Joint Forces Command from 2016-2018. He served during the Iran/Iraq "Tanker War" in the 1980s; performed security duties in the Falklands, NATO embargo operations in the Adriatic and counter-smuggling operations in Hong Kong and the Caribbean; and he served three tours in Iraq. He has been in command of the patrol boat HMS Blazer, the frigate HMS Norfolk, the Naval Training Team in Iraq, the Iraqi Maritime Task Force, Portsmouth Naval Base and Commander of UK Maritime Forces and NATO’s High Readiness Maritime Component.

During his command, Adm. Radakin will oversee the new carrier 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, the new River-class patrol vessels come into service and the Royal Marines transform into a special forces-style "Future Commando Force." Within the submarine service, the new Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarines will begin to take shape while more Astute-class attack boats will join the fleet.

Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, served as the venue for the transfer of office, which was observed by Admiral James Caldwell, the head of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear program, and France’s most senior naval officer, Admiral Christophe Prazuck. After, onVictory’s quarterdeck, Adm. Jones’ standard was lowered and Adm. Radakin’s flag raised in its place.

“I absolutely believe that ours is a world class navy, full of brilliant people doing great things,” said Adm. Radakin in a statement. “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.”