First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin ROYAL NAVY
Navy

Admiral Tony Radakin Officially Takes Over As First Sea Lord

The Royal Navy officer served as Second Sea Lord from 2018 to 2019.

First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin ROYAL NAVY

The First Sea Lord transfer ceremony took place on HMS Victory (Picture: MOD).

Admiral Tony Radakin has officially taken over as the new First Sea Lord, succeeding Admiral Sir Philip Jones as Chief of the Naval Staff.

His appointment was first announced in February when a number of new senior officials were chosen by the Royal Navy.

Adm Radakin now commands more than 30,000 men and women, more than 90 warships, nuclear submarines and support vessels, the helicopters and jets of the Fleet Air Arm and the elite Naval infantry of the Royal Marines

He will also oversee HMS Queen Elizabeth deploying for the first time and the next of Britain’s aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, enter service.

The transfer of office took place at HMS Victory’s great cabin and concluded on the quarterdeck where Adm Jones’ standard was lowered and Adm Radakin’s flag raised in its place.

Admiral Tony Radakin and Admiral Philip Jones ROYAL NAVY
Adm Tony Radakin and Adm Sir Philip Jones during the last act of the ceremony on the quarterdeck of HMS Victory 2019 (Picture: Royal Navy).

Adm Jones said: "I absolutely believe that ours is a world-class Navy, full of brilliant people doing great things.

“We are busy on operations all around the world, and thanks to sustained and major investment by the government and the nation, we are growing as a Navy for the first time in 70 years.

After being first commissioned in 1990, Adm Radakin's service included security duties in the Falklands, NATO embargo operations in the Adriatic and counter smuggling in Hong Kong and the Caribbean.

Prior to taking the new role, he worked as Second Sea Lord.

He has also completed three command tours in Iraq.

Professor Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at RUSI, said: "The interesting thing about all Chiefs of Staff right now is that they've all been picked from a relatively junior rank in comparison to their predecessors who had matured and reached the top of the tree.

"We could not see the usual three years from a service chief but we could see six.

"Previous First Sea Lords have had huge luxuries - lots of ships... able to surge them here there and everywhere - but with today's Royal Navy, the ship numbers, the availability that its got right now, they're in a completely different position.

"What's absolutely key is for Admiral Radakin to get from the MOD a prioritised list of what they want the Royal Navy to do... because on a limited budget they can only do so much.

"That really has to be the number one priority for Admiral Radakin as he takes office."

The First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin Inspecting Ceremonial Guard ROYAL NAVY
Adm Radakin inspecting the ceremonial guard for the first time since becoming First Sea Lord (Picture Royal Navy).