Royal Navy sees big shake-up of its top officers as new fleet commander is appointed
THE Royal Navy has a new fleet commander following a major shake-up of the Senior Service’s top brass.
Vice Admiral Andy Burns has taken over the role from the former chief of the fleet, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd – who previously commanded aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The ceremony was staged at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth – which VAdm Kyd once commanded – under the eyes of the Senior Service’s top sailor, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.
VAdm Burn’s appointment to commander of the fleet means he now hold the second most senior command post in the Royal Navy.
He is now responsible for commanding all operational elements of the Royal Navy – ships, submarines, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary – and acts as joint commander for the North Atlantic operating areas.
VAdm Burns assumes the new leadership role following a rich operational background.
He previously commanded the amphibious task group and was commander of the United Kingdom’s strike force.
He is also the Royal Navy’s chief naval warfare officer and gender advocate.
VAdm Kyd, who was appointed to the role of fleet commander in March 2019, said he was delighted by his time in post.
He added: ‘It has been a distinct privilege being the Fleet Commander and I now hand over the watch with pride at what is being achieved by the Fleet across the world.’
VAdm Kyd joined the navy in 1985 as a seaman officer. In his early years, he served on operational deployments to the Gulf, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Caribbean, Baltic, Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.
Commands at various ranks have included HMS Monmouth, Ark Royal and Illustrious. He has served as captain of BRNC and upon promotion to Rear Admiral in November 2018, he was appointed commander of the United Kingdom’s maritime forces.
VAdm Kyd has been at the centre of the navy’s return to carrier strike operations, first as head the carrier strike group in 2015 and then as the first captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth the following year.
As well as shore appointments at the Ministry of Defence in London he also previously instructed at the maritime warfare school at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: ‘Thank you Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd for everything you have done as the Royal Navy’s fleet commander.’
VAdm Kyd added: ‘None of this is possible without the officers, ratings, marines and civil servants, whose dedication, resilience and leadership I have been so fortunate to work with and command.
‘As ever, the greatest lesson is that you need to take your people with you, command them well and treat them with courtesy and respect. I am indebted to every Jack one of them.’