A new head of the British Royal Navy has taken over, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Ben Key took command of the 30,000 Sailors, 90 Royal Navy ship from Adm. Tony Radakin at a ceremony aboard HMS Victory in Portsmouth, United Kingdom
“During his command, Admiral Key will see the lead ships of two new classes of frigates – the HMS Glasgow submarine hunter, the first of eight Type 26 warships and the general-purpose HMS Venturer, Inspiration Class / Type 31 First Ship – Going Into The Water, ”a Defense Department statement read on Monday.
On day one, Key spoke with the Chief of Naval Operations of the United States, Admiral Mike Gilday, to “reaffirm the special relationship between the two Marines and discuss areas for continued collaboration and cooperation,” reads -on Monday in a statement from the US Navy.
“Having recently served as chief of joint operations, I have seen how closely we operate in the world with our American cousins,” Key said in a statement. “From the USS The Sullivans part of the HMS queen elizabeth Carrier Strike Group on its recent deployment in the Pacific, to our combined operations in the Atlantic in support of NATO, our two countries benefit from this exceptional strategic partnership with our joint effort to make the world a safer place.
Key, a career surface warfare officer, had commanded the former HMS minehunter Sandown. He becomes commander of the type 23 frigates HMS duke of iron(F234) in 2000 and HMS Lancaster (F229) in 2001, as well as the former aircraft carrier HMS Illustrated (R06) in 2009. Most recently, Key was the Department of Defense Joint Operations Chief. He was one of the architects of Operation Pitting, which evacuated 15,000 British and Afghan nationals from Kabul.
Radakin will now assume his new post as Chief of the Defense Staff, the UK’s highest military post.
During his tenure as First Sea Lord, Radakin oversaw the first deployment of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group, a key part of how the UK intends to cooperate with its partners in the future. The CSG deployed with British and international escorts and a squadron of United States Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter jets which were integrated aboard the aircraft carrier with a squadron from the Royal Air Force.
“When I look at the bridge queen elizabeth, does it matter whether it is a US Marine Corps jet, a Royal Navy jet or Royal Air Force jets? And in fact when you put the fact that you have two different nations operating on the carrier of one nation, it magnifies the importance because of the incredible investments it takes in some sort of nation to be trusted to that extent. ”Radakin said. USNI News in an interview in October.