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Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear-Admiral Surface Ships
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Active Maritime Forces: 2001–current
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Type Military branch
Size Command
Garrison/HQ Portsmouth, England
Rear Admiral Andrew Burns

Surface warships form one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy.[1] The surface combatants are administered by Rear-Admiral Andrew Burns, Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships.[2] Rear-Admiral Surface Ships also has the operational role of Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces, a sea-going combatant command appointment.

RN surface ships current 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 Amphibious Task Group and Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group are the two main 1* deployable forces under COMUKMARFOR.


Organisational changes with the Royal Navy between 1990 and 1992 resulted in the Third Flotilla being abolished, the remaining First and Second Flotillas were then re-designated under new titles. One became Flag Officer, Surface Flotilla (FOSF), responsible for operational readiness and training, and the other the Commander, UK Task Group, who would command any deployed task group.[3]

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. In 2012 operational command of the fleet changed with the abolition of the CINCFLEET position. Instead a Vice-Admiral was appointed as Fleet Commander. The Fleet Commander is currently based at headquarters Navy Command in Portsmouth, England.[4] The Devonport and Portsmouth Flotillas are currently administered by the Commander Operations.[5]

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear-Admiral Surface Ships

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

See also


  1. "THE ROYAL NAVY’S SURFACE FLEET". MOD UK. Retrieved 5 August 2018. 
  2. "Rear Admiral Andrew Burns OBE Commander UK Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships". Royal Navy. Ministry of Defence. UK. Retrieved 10 June 2019. 
  3. Smith.2015.
  4. "New Fleet Commander appointed to Royal Navy – GOV.UK" (in en). MOD 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  5. "The Navy Directory 2017 Containing Lists of Ships, Establishments and Officers of the Fleet". MOD UK. 2017. p. 7. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  6. "Rear Admiral P M Bennett (Paul) CB OBE Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships". 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. "Royal Navy Appoints New Senior Officers". Forces Network. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 8 June 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

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