Royal Navy Surface Fleet

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Commander United Kingdom Strike Force and Rear-Admiral Surface Ships
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
ActiveMaritime Forces: 2001–current
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Navy
TypeMilitary branch
Garrison/HQPortsmouth, England
Rear Admiral Michael Utley

The Royal Navy Surface Fleet is one of the fighting arms which is administered by the Commander United Kingdom Strike Force and Rear Admiral Surface Ships also known as COMUKSTRKFOR (CSF) .[1][2] Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces is a sea-going combatant command appointment. Surface ships form one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy.[3]

Royal Navy surface ships currently consist of two flotillas based at HMNB Portsmouth and HMNB Devonport, both located on the south coast of England. Surface combatants range from aircraft carriers to mine countermeasures vessels to offshore patrol vessels, but most are escorts; destroyers (Type 45) and frigates (Type 23).

Surface combatants deploy to conduct several permanent Standing Royal Navy deployments. Closer to home, the surface fleet also conducts Fishery Protection Patrols around UK waters, by agreement with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Presently, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group and Commander Littoral Strike Group are the two main 1* deployable forces under COMUKMARFOR.


In 1990-1992 the Royal Navy was reorganised, creating the new posts of Flag Officer, Surface Flotilla (FOSF) responsible for operational readiness and training, and Commander, UK Task Group, who would command any deployed task group.[4] In 2001 both of these appointments were unified into the post of Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR), who thereafter reported to CINCFLEET. He administered three sub-commands called Amphibious Task Group, UK Task Group, and Carrier Strike Group, each of these being commanded by a Commodore. These three commodores' positions directed operational, deployed, seagoing groups of warships.

In January 2011 the UK Task Group Commander was renamed Deputy Commander UK Maritime Forces. The Devonport and Portsmouth Flotillas are currently administered by the Commander Operations.[5]

At some point between 2011 and 2018, Commander UK Maritime Forces was also given the role of Rear-Admiral Surface Ships, the 'tribal chief' of surface ships within the Navy.

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear-Admiral Surface Ships[edit]

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships – reporting to Commander-in-Chief Fleet till 2012 then Fleet Commander.

Image Rank Name Term
No image.png Rear Admiral James Burnell-Nugent 2001–2002
No image.png Rear Admiral David Snelson 2002–2004
No image.png Rear Admiral Charles Style 2004–2005
Neilmorisetti.jpg Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti 2005–2007
1SL George Zambellas 2013-09-08 (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral George Zambellas 2007–2008
New fleet commander 2016.jpg (Philip Jones cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Philip Jones 2008–2009
Rear Admiral Peter Hudson presents (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Peter Hudson 2009–2011
Rear Admiral Duncan Potts (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Duncan Potts 2011–2013
Operation Atalanta handover (Robert Tarrant cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Robert Tarrant 2013–2014
US Navy photo 191120-N-BB269-1046 U.S., U.K., Japan Navies Reaffirm Commitment to Increased Cooperation (Tony Radakin cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Tony Radakin 2014–2016
Rear Admiral Alex Burton.jpg Rear Admiral Alex Burton 2016–2017
Wrns100 Paul Bennett (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Paul Bennett 2017–2018[6]
HMS Queen Elizabeth Captain Kyd (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Jerry Kyd 2018–2019[7][8]
COMATG Andrew Burns (cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Andrew Burns February 2019–December 2019[9]
Alexandru Mirsu and Mike Utley (Utley cropped).jpg Rear Admiral Michael Utley December 2019-present[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rear Admiral Andrew Burns OBE Commander UK Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships" (PDF). Royal Navy. Ministry of Defence. UK. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Surface Fleet". Royal Navy. 24 December 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019. ...was appointed Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces COMUKSTRKFOR (CSF) and Rear Admiral Surface Ships (RASS)
  3. ^ "THE ROYAL NAVY'S SURFACE FLEET" (PDF). MOD UK. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ Smith 2015.
  5. ^ "The Navy Directory 2017 Containing Lists of Ships, Establishments and Officers of the Fleet" (PDF). MOD UK. 2017. p. 7. Retrieved 10 August 2018.; also see Navy Directory 2018, p.7.
  6. ^ "Rear Admiral P M Bennett (Paul) CB OBE Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships" (PDF). Ministry of Defence UK 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Jerry Kyd confirmed as Guest of Honour at MCDOA Dinner". Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officers' Association. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  8. ^ Navy Directory 2018 (p.14)
  9. ^ "Royal Navy Appoints New Senior Officers". Forces Network. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Surface fleet awarded for outstanding performance". Royal Navy. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.


  • Brown, David (1987). The Royal Navy and Falklands War. Barsley, England: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473817791.
  • Mackie, Colin (August 2018). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin. C. Mackie.
  • Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848320437.
  • The Navy Directory: (2017) KEY PERSONNEL: Seniority Lists of Officers on the Active List. (PDF). MOD, UK.
  • Dr Graham Watson, Royal Navy Organisation And Ship Deployments 1947–2013

External links[edit]