The Commander of the UK’s amphibious task forces has handed over the baton after two years at the helm.
It is the second time in a month Commodore James Parkin has handed over control of a front-line command after leaving the International Maritime Security Construct earlier this month.
Commodore Parkin handed over the littoral baton to successor Commodore Rob Pedre at Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, with a lowering and raising of their broad pennants signalling the transfer of command.
Cdre Parkin’s time in charge included leading four operational deployments overseas, as well as numerous exercises involving “too many nations to list” and a name change – the Littoral Strike Group was formerly known as the Amphibious Task Group, until last year.
The task group’s work in the Baltic in summer 2019 was the high point of its efforts.
At the peak of Operation Baltic Protector, 44 ships, including 16 British, and 3,850 personnel from nine partner nations, were directed by its staff.
It was the largest British deployment into the Baltic since 1919.
Cdre Parkin said: “When I assumed command, we knew about all the exercises in which we would be participating, but only one of the four operational deployments in which my team and I have taken part had been thought about.
“I pay tribute to my team from every one of the British Armed Forces, and our sister civilian services, and to those many nations who entrusted me with their men, women, ships, and aircraft, all of whom have worked so extremely hard to make our shared endeavour so successful.”
Previously the final Commanding Officer of helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, Cdre Pedre said: “It is a huge honour to take command of the Littoral Strike Group – especially to do so the day after the anniversary of the San Carlos amphibious landings in 1982.”
“I know that the men and women under my command are of the highest quality, and I look forward to working with them as we advance our littoral strike capability.”
Cover image: Commodore James Parkin (centre) hands over command of Littoral Strike Group to Commodore Rob Pedre (right) in Plymouth (Picture: Royal Navy).