A NEW head of the Royal Navy has been announced by defence secretary Gavin Williamson as part of a shake-up of Britain’s top military leaders.
Vice Admiral Tony Radakin is to be promoted to Admiral and become the head of the Senior Service, taking over from Admiral Sir Philip Jones as First Sea Lord and chief of naval staff.
Commissioned in 1990, his commands have ranged from Lieutenant to Rear Admiral of ashore, afloat and international forces.
The married dad-of-four was previously the Second Sea Lord, in charge of personnel issues within the navy and based in Portsmouth.
Elsewhere, Vice Admiral Timothy Fraser is to be promoted to Admiral and appointed vice chief of the defence staff, deputy to the head of the armed forces.
As a surface warfare officer, he commanded four ships: the patrol craft HMS Archer (1989-1991), the Type 42 Destroyers HMS Gloucester (1997-1998) and HMS Cardiff (2001-2003; as the Captain Fifth Destroyer Squadron) and the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (2006-2007).
He has also served as the United Kingdom maritime component commander in Bahrain, commanding Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships in the Middle East, and later served under the commander US fifth fleet as the deputy commander of the combined maritime forces.
Mr Williamson said: ‘I am delighted to congratulate this new group of defence chiefs on their appointments.
‘Forward-looking and keen to modernise the Armed Forces, these are the transformational leaders we need in these challenging times.
‘The appointment of a new generation of commanders will ensure that Britain remains ready to face the threats of tomorrow and continues to be a major player on the world stage.’
The other appointments include: Air Marshal Mike Wigston –who will be promoted to Air Chief Marshal and appointed as the head of the Royal Air Force, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Steven Hillier – and Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders who to be promoted to General and appointed commander joint forces command.