Royal Navy appoints new captain for £3.1bn HMS Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales's new commanding officer, Captain Stephen Moorhouse, right, with the ship's former senior naval officer, Captain Ian Groom, left.'Photo: Royal Navy

THE first seafaring captain of Britain’s second £3.1bn supercarrier has been appointed.

Commodore Stephen Moorhouse will be in charge of HMS Prince of Wales when she heads to sea.

Commanding Officer Captain Stephen Moorhouse OBE speaks to some of his crew after taking over from senior naval officer capt Ian Groom MBE. Photo: Royal Navy

The commodore will assume the local rank of captain while in command, just as his counterpart Commodore Jerry Kyd did on board the first of the navy’s new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Captain Moorhouse said: ‘I am delighted to assume command of HMS Prince of Wales at this exciting time as we prepare the ship to enter service. She will operate of the centre of a Maritime Task Group that will support the UK’s diverse diplomatic, security and economic interests around the globe.’

The 65,000-tonne aircraft is being fitted out in Rosyth and readying herself for her own bright future as her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth visits the United States of America for the first time.

Captain Moorhouse takes over from Captain Ian Groom who has spent more than two years leading the engineering marvels of the construction of the vast ship.

Looking back at his time with the ship, Captain Groom said: ‘I have enjoyed my tenure as senior naval officer for HMS Prince of Wales immensely and I am hugely proud of everything we have achieved.

‘My handover of command to Captain Moorhouse marks the start of a new phase that will see him working together with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to take HMS Prince of Wales to sea and subsequently into service.’

Sir Simon Lister, Aircraft Carrier Alliance managing director praised Captain Groom for his efforts and said he was ‘looking forward to’ working closely with welcomed Prince of Wales’s new chief.

Captain Moorhouse originally joined the Royal Navy as a specialist in airborne early warning, serving as an observer with 849 Naval Air Squadron, primarily on the former HMS Illustrious, and flying in environments from the southern Indian Ocean to the Baltic.

In his long career with the navy, Captain Moorhouse has previously commanded offshore patrol vessels HMS Severn and HMS Clyde as well as Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster and helicopter assault ship HMS Ocean.

Most recently Captain Moorhouse led CTF150, a multinational combined task force that keeps the shipping lanes safe across the western Indian Ocean.

HMS Prince of Wales is expected to leave Rosyth next year to begin sea trials before arriving in Portsmouth.

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