Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces or COMUKMARFOR is a senior post in the Royal Navy. The post is the highest sea-going command in the Royal Navy and is part of the Fleet Battle Staff based in Portsmouth, part of Commander-in-Chief Fleet's staff. The commander has the rank of Rear-Admiral.



The Commander UK Maritime Forces is a renaming of a previous position, Commander United Kingdom Task Group.[1] Despite the name change, he still performs the same function. He is in command (at sea) of naval task forces and task groups formed for specific operations. He directs Commander UK Task Group and Commander UK Amphibious Task Group, both of whom are of one star rank. Previously, there was also Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group (COMUKCSG),[2],however, with the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, this has been removed.[3] The new Commander UK Task Group (COMUKTG) is a 1 Star Commander who specialises in Maritime Security.[4]

Recent Changes in Appointments

As of 2010, Rear-Admiral Duncan Potts has assumed command of Commander UK Maritime Forces with Commodore Simon Ancona as his deputy. Ancona is also the head of the UK Task Group. Ancona was previously COMUKCSG head.[5] The UK Amphibious Task Group has been renamed as UK (Response Force) Task Group as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review with Commodore John Kingwell in charge.[6][7][8]

Organisation within the Royal Navy Fleet

COMUKMARFOR commands the COMUKTG and the COMATG (which includes the Royal Navy Response Force Task Group[9]).[10][11] He works closely with his equal in the Fleet Battle Staff, the Commander UK Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) who is a Royal Marine of equivalent rank.[12][13] COMUKMARFOR is responsible for blue-water warfare, as opposed to COMUKAMPIBFOR who is responsible for amphibious warfare.

Past Operational Deployments directed by COMUKMARFOR

Commodore Cunningham, the previous COMUKCSG, flew his flag throughout the January to May Orion '08 deployment, as Commander Task Group 328.01,[14] which included exercises with the Indian Navy, aboard HMS Illustrious.

The Naval Task Group for Operation VELA, a three month deployment to West Africa in 2006, was under the command of Commander UK Amphibious Group, Commodore Phil Jones. The VELA deployment involved a significant number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, the Royal Marine Commandos and helicopters.[15] The Task Group included HMS Albion, HMS Ocean, HMS Southampton, HMS Argyll, RFA Wave Knight, RFA Mounts Bay, RFA Sir Bedivere, RFA Fort Austin, HMS Enterprise, RFA Diligence, RFA Oakleaf, Mine Counter Measure Squadron 1 and a Fleet submarine together with the Fleet Lead Commando Group, consisting of 40 Commando Royal Marines, 59 Commando Independent Engineering Squadron, 29 Commando Royal Artillery and 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. Also involved were elements of Fleet Diving Unit 2 and 849 (B) Flight from RNAS Culdrose. Embarked in HMS Ocean for the deployment a Tailored Air Group (TAG) was formed, consisting of Sea King helicopters of 845 Naval Air Squadron, 846 Naval Air Squadron, Merlin Mk 1 aircraft from 820 Naval Air Squadron and Lynx helicopters of 847 Naval Air Squadron. The Vela task group conducted an amphibious exercise, Exercise Green Eagle, in Sierra Leone.

Task Groups despatched to the Far East since 2003 have included deployments in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2003, Naval Task Group 03 had been intended to take part in FPDA exercises in the Asia-Pacific region but was diverted for involvement in the 2003 Iraq War. Eventually part of the Naval Task Group including Liverpool, Marlborough and RFA Grey Rover departed Gulf waters, after the intervention phase of the Iraq War (2003), en route for Exercise Flying Fish, with Commonwealth-partners and members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements which are the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. In 2004, Exeter, Echo, RFA Diligence and RFA Grey Rover visited the Asia-Pacific region. In 2005, Liverpool, with RFA Grey Rover, made such a deployment.

Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces

  • Rear-Admiral J.M. Burnell Nugent (from unknown date to 2002)
  • Rear-Admiral D.G. Snelson (circa 2002-unknown date)[16]
  • Rear-Admiral Charles Style (circa 2005-unknown date)[17]
  • Rear-Admiral Neil Morisetti (circa 2006-2007)[18]
  • Rear-Admiral George Michael Zambellas (circa 2007-unknown date)[19]
  • Rear-Admiral Philip Jones (circa 2009-)[20]
  • Rear-Admiral Peter Hudson (circa 2010-2011)[21][22]
  • Rear-Admiral Duncan Potts (2011-)[23][24][25]

Deputy Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces


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  14. ^ Richard Scott, 'ASW Resurfaces,' Jane's Defence Weekly, Volume 45, Issue 24, 11 June 2008, p.25
  15. ^ "Exercise Green Eagle - Sierra Leone". Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  16. ^ The Times (London), Appointments in the Forces, The Times (London), July 30, 2001
  17. ^ Donald Urquhart, Organised illegal activities on high seas increasing; Int'l cooperation, info sharing needed to combat trend: UK Navy chief, The Business Times (Singapore), May 19, 2005
  19. ^ Jeremy Paxman, The great, the good and the vainglorious: Jeremy Paxman reads between the lines of the latest edition of Who's Who and wonders what the 2008 intake tells us about the state of Britain today, The Daily Telegraph, December 1, 2007
  20. ^ States News Service, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS JOIN MULTI-NATIONAL EXERCISE OFF PAKISTAN, States News Service, March 19, 2009
  21. ^ States News Service, New Operational Commander, States News Service, June 14, 2010
  22. ^ The Times, Service Appointments, The Times (London), November 19, 2010
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