Royal Navy head’s HQ moves to Portsmouth

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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PORTSMOUTH is now the official home of the head of the Royal Navy after the First Sea Lord moved his headquarters.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope’s official flag now flies from his new headquarters at HMS Excellent, on Whale Island.

The Ministry of Defence said that the change was a consequence of initiatives which, following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, will give more responsibility and power to the Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth.

Admiral Stanhope said the challenge would be to maintain the Royal Navy’s outputs with fewer staff, but it could be achieved by adopting new ways of working.

‘To use an Olympic analogy, I feel strongly that it is my responsibility to ignite the torch of change,’ he told his assembled staff in Leach Building, in HMS Excellent.

Whilst the First Sea Lord’s flag now flies from the quarterdeck to signify that Portsmouth is his new headquarters, the MoD said his role means he will continue to also work from London.