HE HAS been in charge of the Royal Navy’s fleet of small ships and elite divers.
But after two years at the helm, Captain Roger Readwin is finally stepping down from his role as captain mine warfare, patrol vessels, diving and fishery.
The experienced naval officer said his time leading the Portsmouth-based section of the naval fleet has been a career highlight.
Before departing from the senior position, Capt Readwin paid tribute to the men and under his command and the families who support them.
Speaking to The News, Capt Readwin said: ‘It has been an absolute privilege to have been captain mine warfare, patrol vessels, diving and fishery, working and leading a unique output to defence - mine countermeasure (MCM), diving, fishery protection and patrol boats.
‘But above all, it has been serving alongside the exceptional men and women who deliver these outputs which has made this role one of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my naval career – our people are utterly exceptional and remain our asymmetric advantage.’
Capt Readwin joined the Royal Navy in September 1991 straight after completing his schooling at Seaford College, near Chichester.
He started his career as the navigating officer of minehunter HMS Berkeley before specialising as mine warfare, diving and explosive ordnance disposal officer in 1998.
In 2001 he became the executive officer of HMS Middleton before later serving as operations officer on Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth.
His stint in the navy has also seen Capt Readwin spending time abroad, on command staff jobs in Bahrain as well as on completing operational tours in Iraq with Monmouth and supporting a Nato mission in Libya with HMS Sutherland.
Before taking on his last role, Capt Readwin spent three years in the US which saw him working in the Pentagon, acting as Royal Navy liaison officer to the US chief of naval operations.
As well as being thankful to the men and women under his command, Capt Readwin also praised the city of Portsmouth for its unwavering support of the Senior Service.
He said: ‘Our proud maritime heritage here in Portsmouth underpins the strength and resolve of the Royal Navy in the 21st century, just as it did in the 18th century.
‘I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who live in the local area for their incredible support for their Royal Navy, it makes a big difference – thank you.’
Captain Ken Houlberg is to become the new captain maritime fishery protection
Tomorrow will see the return of minehunter HMS Middleton to Portsmouth after a three-year stint in the Middle East.
The minehunter left the city in July 2015 to continue the UK’s long standing commitment to security operations within the Middle East, changing crews five times within that period.
The current crew, MCM2 Crew 2, have been with the ship since January.
They worked with the UK’s allies in the region, forming part of a task group with the US Navy, as well as working with the Royal Saudi, Kuwaiti, Qatari, Egyptian, Omani, UAE and Bahraini navies.