Navy Command

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Navy Command
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active2010 - present
Country United Kingdom
AllegianceQueen Elizabeth II
BranchRoyal Navy
Part ofMinistry of Defence, Naval Service
Garrison/HQHQ HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Hampshire
Admiral Sir Philip Jones

Navy Command is the current headquarters body of the British Royal Navy, and its major organisational grouping.[1] It is both a military command, controlled and directed by the First Sea Lord in London through Navy Command Headquarters, on Whale Island, the base of the most senior RN officers,[2] and as a budgetary grouping.

On 1 April 2006 the Fleet Top Level Budget was established. A Top Level Budget (TLB) is the major financial accounting group of the MOD. On 1 April 2010 the Fleet TLB was renamed Navy Command following the merger of the Commander-in-Chief Fleet and the Chief-of-Naval Personnel also Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command.[3] Thus Navy Command is the Top Level Budget (holder) for the RN.[4] Navy Command supports the First Sea Lord in the management of the Command, and delivers the Service's current and future outputs as articulated in the Command Plan.[5]



Prior to 1964 responsibility for control and direction of the British Naval Affairs lay with Department of Admiralty, naval command lay with the Admiralty Naval Staff. Following the merger of the Admiralty in 1964 into the new Ministry of Defence it became known as the Navy Department.[6][7] The Royal Navy was historically divided into a number of fleets and ashore commands, prominent examples being the Home Fleet and Portsmouth Command. By the 1960s a system was introduced to change the previous, globally dispersed assets, the fleet system was replaced at first by a Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet. However these were also eventually abolished and their units amalgamated into CINCFLEET.[8] At the same time, the commands established to manage individuals naval bases were replaced in 1969 after the post of Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth was merged with that of Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth to form Naval Home Command. As overseas bases continued to be reduced, the Navy's shore establishments became more concentrated in the UK, under Naval Home Command.

Navy Command Headquarters

The Navy Command Headquarters is based at Whale Island, Portsmouth, it also includes the Command Centre in Northwood, and also has support staff in Portsmouth Naval Base.[9]

The purpose-built Headquarters at Whale Island was opened in 2002 was named after Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Leach, the First Sea Lord during the Falklands War. The purpose of the NCHQ, as the higher echelon of Navy Command, is the carry out three main tasks: Force Generation, Planning for the future and Advice, Assurance and Accountability.[10]

Structure of the Navy Command

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, is the Royal Navy's professional head and Chairman of the Navy Board. He is responsible to the Secretary of State for the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Naval Service, and supports the Secretary of State for Defence in the management and direction of the Armed Forces.

The Fleet Commander exercises Full Command, on behalf of the First Sea Lord, over all Fleet Units, Battlestaffs, the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Royal Marines. He is responsible for the generation of units for tasking, and the operation of the Fleet in meeting standing commitments, conduct of current operations, and maintaining their contingent capability, as directed by Head Office and articulated in the Navy Command Plan.[11]

The Second Sea Lord (2SL) leads Navy Command HQ and is responsible for the Development and Delivery of future and current capability in support of the Fleet Commander, as detailed in the Navy Command Plan.[12]

Office of the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

As of 6 April 2017:[13][14]

Senior Naval Staff


Office of the Second Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff

As of 31 March 2016:[15][16]

Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Aviation and Carriers)
  • Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Aviation and Carriers), (ACNS A&C) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Carrier Strike and Aviation, (ACOS CSV) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Land and Littoral Manoeuvre and Deputy Commandant General Royal Marines, (ACOS LLM) [17]
    • Commanding Officer Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, (CO LV) [17]
Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability)
  • Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Capability), (ACNS Cap) [17] - also Controller of the Navy
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Warfare, (COS W) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Information Warfare, (COS IW) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Maritime Capability, (COS Mar Cap) [17]
Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel)
  • Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Personnel), (ACNS Pers) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Medical, (COS Med) [17] - also Surgeon Commodore (Surg Cdre)
    • Commodore Naval Legal Services, (CNLS) [17]
    • Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy, (CNPS) [17]
    • Commodore Naval Personnel, (CNP) [17]
    • Commander Maritime Reserves, (COMMARRES) [17]
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Ship Acquisition)

Overseeing the design and construction of the new Type 26 and 31 frigates, as well as replacement solid support ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines)
  • Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines), (ACNS Sub) [17] - also (FO S&NI)
Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Support)
Office of the Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland

The Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland, (FOSNI) [17] - also (ACNS Submarines) is the senior Royal Navy Representative within Scotland and Northern Ireland liaising with the Scottish government and NI Assembly on Naval issues.

Office of the Chaplain of the Fleet
  • The Chaplain of the Fleet, (Chp FLT).[17]
  • Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet.[17]
    • Naval Chaplaincy Service and Naval Chaplaincy Branch.
Office of the Naval Secretary
  • Naval Secretary, (NAV SEC) [17] - also (ACNS Pers & FO Res)
    • Naval Assistant to Naval Secretary, (NA SEC) [17]
Flag Officer, Reserves
Office of the Fleet Commander

As of 31 March 2016:[15][19][16]

Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Training)
  • Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Training) (ACNS, FO ST) [17]
    • Assistant Chief of Staff Training, (ACOS T), /Deputy Flag Officer, Sea Training [17]
    • Commanding Officer Maritime Warfare School and Commanding Officer Operational Training, (COM OT) [17]
    • Commander Core Naval Training, (COM CORE) [17]
Office of the Commander Operations
Office of the Commander UK Maritime Forces
Office of the Commander UK Amphibious Forces/Commandant General Royal Marines
Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy)

As of 31 March 2016:[15]

  • Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, (Policy), (ACNS Pol) [17] directs and develops naval strategic policy and strategy for the Royal Navy.
Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff (Policy)
  • Assistant Chief of Staff (Policy), (ACOS Policy) [17] (ACNS Pol) manages the department and staff of (ACNS Pol).
Office of the Commodore, Naval Staff
Office of the Commodore, Regional Forces
  • Commodore, Regional Forces, (Cdre REGFOR) & Naval Regional [17] superintends the 4 UK geographical naval regional commands.
    • Naval Regional Commander Eastern England, (NRC EE) - also (Cdre REGFOR) [17]
    • Naval Regional Commander, Northern England (NRC NE) [17]
    • Naval Regional Commander, Wales & Western England (NRC WWE) [17]
Office of the Head of Royal Navy Communications
  • Head of Royal Navy Communications, (COMMS Hd) [17] Principal Navy Command advisor on RN communications and communications strategy.
Office of the Finance Director Navy

As of 31 March 2016:[15]

  • Finance Director (Navy) [17] is the Chief Financial Officer of Navy Command's delegated budget and superintends the Command Secretariat.
Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff Resources and Plans
  • Assistant Chief of Staff Resources and Plans [17] supports the Director of Navy Finance in delivering the Naval financial objectives and adhering to the framework of legal, political, financial and regulatory authorities.
Office of the Command Secretary
  • Command Secretary [17] is the senior civilian in Navy Command Headquarters responsible for civilian personnel, external accountability, resource management and certain aspects of planning.
Office of the Deputy Finance Director, Navy
  • Deputy Finance Director [17] is responsible overall financially managing Navy Command and the Head of the Navy Command Finance department.
Office of the Head of Navy Effectiveness and Strategy
  • Head of Navy Effectiveness and Strategy [17] superintends multidisciplinary project teams, specializing in policy, commercial and financial expertise he reports back to both the (FD(N) and ACNS(Pol).

Supporting Navy Command

Command Centre Northwood

Northwood is the UK's principal military headquarters site is home to 5 operational HQs. The Joint Forces Command HQ, including Permanent Joint Headquarters and the Joint Forces Headquarters, the Commander Operations for the Royal Navy.[21]

Defence Equipment and Support

Formed in April 2007 from the amalgamation of both the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) and the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) to form Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It provides naval equipment and also responsible for sustaining the Fleet and ensuring that the required vessels and units are available for operations according to the command plan. Superintended by the Chief of Staff, who administers the Maritime Warfare Centre, communications systems, engineering and certain functions of Fleet Air Arm support.[22] [23][22]

Flag Officer Sea Training

Is the organisation responsible for training of all Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.[24]

Fleet Battle Staff

Based in two locations (Portsmouth and Plymouth) the Fleet Battle Staff is the operational planning department, that plans exercises and operations for large multinational naval and marine task groups across the globe. The actual conduct of naval operations is generally the responsibility of the Joint Forces Command.[25]

Maritime Warfare Centre

The Maritime Warfare Centre is an Operational Knowledge-Centered Support service allows the Royal Navy the ability to observe and process all aspects of operational experience to learn lessons from previous operations and enhance fighting power.[26]

Royal Naval Chaplaincy Service

The Royal Naval Chaplaincy Service is responsible to the First Sea Lord for provision of pastoral support, ensuring the spiritual and pastoral needs of all Service personnel the service is superintended by the Chaplain of the Fleet.[27]


  1. Office, Cabinet (January 2012). "Top Level Budgets(TLB): Navy Command: Major organisational grouping of the MOD.". The Civil Service Yearbook (48 ed.). Norwich, England: The Stationery Office Ltd. p. 108. ISBN 9781905262496.
  2. "Navy Command senior, as of April 2017 - GOV.UK". Ministry of Defence UK. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Unit:Navy Command
  3. "CIVILIAN WORKFORCE BY GRADE EQUIVALENCE AND BUDGETARY AR" (PDF). London England: Ministry of Defence, Defence Analytical Services & Advice. p. 5. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  4. Hayman, Charles (2014). The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom 2014-2015. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 14. ISBN 9781783463510.
  5. Ministry of Defence UK (26 April 2018). "SECTION 2 – DEFENCE OPERATING MODEL CONTEXT" (PDF). Parliament, United Kingdom. p. 1. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  6. Stationery Office, H.M. (31 October 1967). The Navy List. Spink and Sons Ltd, London, England. pp. 524–532.
  7. Lagassé, ed. by Paul (2000). "Admiralty". The Columbia encyclopedia (6. ed.). [New York]: Columbia Univ. Press u.a. ISBN 978-0787650155.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. "Royal Navy - Fleet Command and Organisation - Naval Home Command - Defence Equipment and Support - n2a2 - Armed Forces". R & F Defence Publications, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  9. "Navy Command HQ, Royal Navy". Royal Navy, MOD, UK. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2013-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Navy Matters - Headquarters organisation
  11. Parliament United Kingdom (26 April 2018). "Defence Operating Model" (PDF). London UK: Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  12. Parliament United Kingdom (26 April 2018). "Defence Operating Model" (PDF). London UK: Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  13. "Ministry of Defence, Organogram". Ministry of Defence, 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  14. "MOD roles and salaries: Navy Command Senior, as of April 2017". Ministry of Defence, April 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 MOD, Organogram, 31 March 2016
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 MOD, Navy Command Senior, as of April 2016
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 17.19 17.20 17.21 17.22 17.23 17.24 17.25 17.26 17.27 17.28 17.29 17.30 17.31 17.32 17.33 17.34 17.35 17.36 17.37 17.38 17.39 17.40 17.41 17.42 17.43 17.44 17.45 17.46 17.47 17.48 17.49 17.50 17.51 17.52 17.53 17.54 17.55 17.56 Government, H.M. "The Navy List" (PDF). H.M. Stationery Office, January, 2017, pp.6-9. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  18. "Defence Equipment & Support organisation chart: May 2017 (updated 18 May 2018)" (PDF). Defence Equipment and Support. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  19. "Royal Marines". Royal Navy, MOD, 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  20. Speller, Ian (2004). The Royal Navy and Maritime Power in the Twentieth Century. Routledge. p. 126. ISBN 9781134269822.
  21. Government, H.M. "Northwood Headquarters - GOV.UK". MOD. UK. 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Government, H.M. "Defence Equipment and Support - GOV.UK". MOD, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  23. DE&S Organisation Chart retrieved August 2017
  24. "FOST, Royal Navy". Royal Navy, MOD, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  25. Government, H.M. "Fleet Battle Staff". National Archives, 17 April 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  26. "Supporting the Maritime Warfare Centre". BAE Systems International. BAE Systems, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  27. Government, H.M. "Chaplains, Royal Navy". Royal Navy, MOD, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.