A WIRRAL man has been appointed as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
Vice Admiral Philip Jones will be tasked to provide ships, submarines and aircraft ready for any operations required by the government.
Vice Admiral Jones, who is married with three children and graduated from Mansfield College, Oxford, takes over from outgoing Fleet Commander, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, who continues as Commander Maritime Command NATO.
He accepted his new role at a handover ceremony in Portsmouth.
Vice Admiral Jones, from Bebington, said the job was an “immense privilege”.
He said: “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 Strait of Hormuz to the Caribbean, and from the coastline of Somalia to the vehicle checkpoints of Nad 'Ali in Helmand.”
In December 2008, the Wirral man commanded the European Union’s first naval task to protect shipping in the waters off Somalia.
He said he would make the strongest possible case for future investment in the Royal Navy.