Navy chiefs meet and debate defence issues

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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TOP brass from navies across Europe descended on Portsmouth’s naval base to debate the continent’s defence issues.

Twelve representatives from Europe’s Channel Command attended their annual forum which is hosted by a different nation every year.

The group is made up of five nations which border the channel – the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Senior naval staff from Spain, Italy and Portugal also attended.

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, the naval base commander, said: ‘We were delighted to host such a high-profile 

‘With so many heads of European navies present, it was an excellent opportunity to promote the importance and growth of the base and Portsmouth as a whole.’

The day-long conference was kicked off with a dinner on board HMS Victory, hosted by First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, who chaired the conference.