Commander-in-Chief Fleet

Commander-in-Chief Fleet

Commander-in-Chief Fleet (CINCFLEET) is the admiral responsible for the operation, resourcing and training of the ships, submarines and aircraft, and personnel, of the British Royal Navy. CINC is subordinate to the First Sea Lord, the professional head of the Naval Service.



Structure of Navy Command

Full command of the Fleet and responsibility for the Fleet element of military operational capability including the Royal Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, is delegated to Commander-in-Chief Fleet,[1] with his Command Headquarters in the Navy Command Headquarters Building at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth[1] and his Operational Headquarters at Northwood, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, co-located with the Permanent Joint Headquarters[1] and a NATO Regional Command, Allied Maritime Component Command Northwood ('AMCCN'); CINCFLEET is dual-hatted as Commander AMCCN.[2]

CINCFLEET is supported by:[1]

  • Second Sea Lord, based in HMS Excellent, who is the Principal Personnel Officer for the Royal Navy
  • Deputy CINCFLEET, based in HMS Excellent, who directs the work of the Fleet Headquarters
  • Commander Maritime Operations, based at Northwood, who is responsible for the conduct of Fleet operations
  • Commander UK Amphibious Force, who is Commandant General Royal Marines
  • Commander UK Maritime Forces (previously known as Commander UK Task Group)[3], who is commander of the UK Task Group (COMUKTG)(including the newly formed UK Response Force Task Group)[4][5][6]

Collectively, COMUKMARFOR, COMUKAMPHIBFOR, Commander UK Task Group (COMUKTG) and 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines comprise the "Fleet Battle Staff".[7]

History of the Commanders-in-Chief

Historically, the Royal Navy was usually split into several commands, each with a Commander-in-Chief (e.g. Commander-in-Chief Plymouth, Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean Fleet, etc.). There now remain only two Commanders-in-Chief, the various fleet commands being unified under Commander-in-Chief Fleet and the various home commands being unified under Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command ("CINCNAVHOME").

In 1971, with the withdrawal from of British forces from East of Suez, the Far East and Western fleets of the Royal Navy were unified under a single Commander-in-Chief Fleet,[8] initially based at HMS Warrior, a land base at Northwood in Middlesex and, from 2004, based at HMS Excellent at Portsmouth.[9]

NATO commitment

The post has also come with various NATO appointments since its creation, including:

  • Commander in Chief Channel (CINCHAN) (until 1994)

The NATO Handbook, accessible in 1993, described the Channel Command in the following words:[10]

CINCHAN's subordinate commanders include Commander Allied Maritime Air Force, Channel; Commander Nore Sub-Area Channel; Commander Plymouth Sub-Area, Channel; and Commander Benelux Sub-Area, Channel. CINCHAN also has under his command the NATO Standing Naval Force Channel (STANAVFOR- CHAN), a permanent force mainly comprising mine countermeasure vessels.

A Channel Committee consisting of the naval Chiefs-of-Staff of Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom serves as an advisory and consultative body to the Commander-in-Chief, Channel.

  • Commander in Chief East Atlantic as part of Allied Command Atlantic (until 2004)
  • Commander Allied Maritime Component Command, Northwood (current)

List of Commanders-in-Chief Fleet

Commanders-in-Chief have included:[11]

Vice Admiral George Zambellas will be Commander-in-Chief Fleet from January 2012.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Navy Command Headquarters Royal Navy
  2. ^ Joint Force Command: Organisation, Roles, Mission
  3. ^ Fleet Battle Staff Headquarters
  4. ^ Commander UK Maritime Force
  5. ^ Cougar
  6. ^ New Admiral Visits Fleet Flagship
  7. ^ Commander UK Amphibious Force
  8. ^ Sea Your History
  9. ^ Plymouth Maritime Headquarters (Mount Wise)
  10. ^ NATO Handbook07, uploaded March 25, 1993
  11. ^ Whitaker's Almanacks 1971 - 2010
  12. ^ "Admiral Sir Trevor Soar takes up Navy fleet position". Portsmouth News. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  13. ^ Service Appointmemnts, The Times, 1 October 2011

External links

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