Plymouth Area Command

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Plymouth Area Command
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Navy
RoleArea Command
Part ofNavy Department
Garrison/HQDevonport Naval Base, England

Plymouth Area Command was a command of the British Royal Navy, It was established in 1969 following the abolition of the former Plymouth Station its role was redefined to be that of a local area command. The last Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth was then renamed Flag Officer, Plymouth. The command was subordinate to Naval Home Command it later became a larger regional command.[1]


On 14 October 1968 it was announced in the House Commons debate on the Ministry of Defence that the Plymouth Station was to be reduced in future and replaced by a new area command.[2] In July 1969 the MHQ remained the HQ of the C in C Plymouth until that post, together with that of C in C Portsmouth, were subsumed into the post of C in C Naval Home Command based in Portsmouth.[3] The two former C in C posts were re-graded as Area Flag Officers.[4] The C in C Home Fleet had moved ashore to HMS Warrior at the old RAF Coastal Command HQ at Northwood on the outskirts of West London. The C-in-C Home Fleet was re-titled C-in-C Western Fleet before becoming, in 1971, C in C Fleet.

Upon the abolition of the post of C-in-C Plymouth in July 1969 the MHQ became the HQ of Flag Officer Plymouth Area Command until, in turn Devonport Dockyard and Royal Naval Barracks, Devonport became Devonport Naval Base, under the command of a Commodore as Commander, Naval Base Devonport who is answerable to the Chief of Fleet Support at Bath. The naval base is also known as HMS Drake, previously the name of the barracks only.

On 30 December 1970, Vice-Admiral J R McKaig CBE was appointed as Flag Officer, Plymouth and Port Admiral, Devonport. On 5 September 1971, all Flag Officers of the Royal Navy holding positions of Admiral Superintendents at Royal Dockyards were restyled as Port Admirals.[5]

Naval HQ

Flag Officer, Plymouth

Chief of Staff to Flag Officer, Plymouth (1969-1996)

  1. Captain Frank W.Watson: July 1969-October 1969
  2. Commodore William R.D. Gerard-Pearse: October 1969 – July 1971.
  3. Commodore William R.D. Gerard-Pearse: July, 1971 – February, 1973.
  4. Commodore William R.D. Gerard-Pearse: July, 1971 – February, 1973.
  5. Commodore William R.D. Gerard-Pearse: October 1969-February 1973
  6. Commodore James W.M. Pertwee: February 1973-January 1975
  7. Commodore Oliver P. Sutton: January 1975-October 1977
  8. Commodore John A.F. Lawson: October 1977-April 1979
  9. Commodore Noel Bearne: April 1979-April 1981
  10. Commodore John M. Tait: April 1981-April 1982
  11. Commodore Daniel J. Bradby; April 1982-October 1983
  12. Commodore Ian W. Powe: October 1983-October 1985
  13. Commodore Geoffrey Jacques: October 1985-1987
  14. Captain Robert B. Mortlock: 1987-August 1989
  15. Captain Michael D. Bracelin: August 1989-1996


The Plymouth Area Command encompassed at various times.[6]

Naval Facilities

  1. Devonport Naval Base


  1. Eberle, Sir James (2007). Wider horizons: naval policy & international affairs. Durham: Roundtuit Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 9781904499176.
  2. "Area Flag Officer, Plymouth - Hansard". Hansard. 14 October 1968. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. "Port Admirals (Commanders-in-Chief) Portsmouth (1714–1931)". History in Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. Hansard.
  5. "Dockyard Timeline: 1971 – Admiral Superintendents become Port Admirals". Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. Watson, Dr Graham (8 April 2012). "Nore, Dover, Portsmouth and Plymouth Commands, January 1942". Gordon Smith.