Portsmouth Area

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Portsmouth Area Command
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Navy
RoleArea Command
Part ofNaval Home Command
Garrison/HQPortsmouth Naval Base, England

Portsmouth Area was a command of the British Royal Navy, It was established in July 1969 following the abolition of the former Portsmouth Station its role was redefined to be that of a local area command and a subcommand of Naval Home Command it later became a larger regional command.[1]

The last Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth was then renamed Flag Officer, Portsmouth Area who's title changed a number of times. Portsmouth command existed until October 1996 when it was deactivated.


On 14 October 1968 it was announced in a House Commons debate on the Ministry of Defence discussing recommended changes in the Naval Shore Command Organisation in the United Kingdom , the duties of Area Flag Officer for the Portsmouth Area and Admiral-Superintendent Portsmouth were to be carried out by one Flag Officer. In July 1969 the former naval command areas of the Portsmouth Station and Plymouth Station were abolished and their previous roles were undertaken by an new Naval Home Command based in Portsmouth.[2] The two former commander-in-chief posts of Portsmouth and Plymouth were downgraded to 2* area flag officers and a third area flag officer was created the Flag Officer Medway in charge of Medway Area Command.[3]

Upon the abolition of the post of Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in July 1969 the Portsmouth Dockyard and Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth became Portsmouth Naval Base, under the command of a Commodore titled Commander Naval Base, Portsmouth 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.

In July 1969 Rear-Admiral Arthur M. Power was appointed as first Flag Officer, Portsmouth Area and Port Admiral Portsmouth. On 5 September 1971, all remaining Flag Officers of the Royal Navy holding positions of Admiral Superintendents at Royal Dockyards were restyled as Port Admirals.[4] On 12 October 1993 Rear-Admiral Neil Rankin was appointed the final Flag Officer Portsmouth.[5]

In Command


Flag Officer, Portsmouth Area

Flag Officer, Spithead

Flag Officer, Portsmouth

Naval Facilities

  1. Portsmouth Naval Base


  1. Eberle, Sir James (2007). Wider horizons: naval policy & international affairs. Durham: Roundtuit Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 9781904499176.
  2. "Port Admirals (Commanders-in-Chief) Portsmouth (1714–1931)". History in Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. Paxton, J. (2016). The Statesman's Year-Book 1990-91. Berlin: Springer. p. 1315. ISBN 9780230271197.
  4. "Dockyard Timeline: 1971 – Admiral Superintendents become Port Admirals". Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  5. "1993 - The Last Flag Officer Portsmouth Takes Over - Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust". portsmouthdockyard.org.uk. Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.