Cdr Charlie Wheen CO HMS Argyll (Picture:Crown Copyright)

HMS Argyll's CO Looks Forward To 'Exciting Year Ahead'

Commander Charlie Wheen will be taking charge of HMS Argyll into a busy period of training, defence and UK-based operations.

Cdr Charlie Wheen CO HMS Argyll (Picture:Crown Copyright)

The Royal Navy's longest-serving frigate HMS Argyll, has a new Commanding Officer, Commander Charlie Wheen.

On signing for the keys, Cdr Wheen said: "It is an honour and a privilege to be back in Argyll."

Cdr Wheen previously served as Operations Officer on the vessel in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific on counter-narcotics and disaster relief tasking, and in UK waters conducting homeland defence.

He said: "Having previously spent two extremely happy years on board, today feels like something of a homecoming.

"I'm thrilled to be back.

"We have a really exciting year ahead and I look forward to working with a team who have achieved so very much over the last 12 months."

Cdr Wheen addresses the Ship’s company (Picture: Crown Copyright)
Cdr Wheen addresses the ship's company (Picture: Crown Copyright).

An experienced mine clearance diver, Cdr Wheen takes HMS Argyll forward into a busy period of training, defence engagement and UK-based operations before entering upkeep in 2022.

Departing HMS Argyll after nearly two years is Commander Andrew Ainsley. 

He led Argyll through periods of very high readiness tasking, complex capability upgrades, operational sea training and a seven-month operational deployment to the Middle East, all against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Cdr Ainsley said: "I look back with pride and privilege on all that has been achieved by the team. It has been the greatest honour of my career to be a part of."

During Cdr Ainsley's tenure on Argyll the vessel has been part of a challenging Op KIPION deployment and has worked with the multinational coalition of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), helping to keep the critical sea lanes of the Arabian Gulf secure for all mariners.

Cdr Ainsley departs (Picture: Crown Copyright)
Cdr Ainsley is 'seen over the side' in traditional style (Picture: Crown Copyright).

He credits the success to the resilience of the team who have "delivered through adversity with trademark good humour, humility and team spirit".

Having been 'seen over the side' in traditional style, the outgoing Commanding Officer paid tribute to families and loved ones.

Cdr Ainsley added: "As HMS Argyll and the Royal Navy look forward to a bright future, there is no denying that without the unfailing support and commitment of our families we cannot hope to succeed."

Cover image: Cdr Charlie Wheen, the new Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll (Picture: Crown Copyright).