Senior Naval Officer, West Indies

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Office of the
Senior Naval Officer, West Indies
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Department of Admiralty (1956-1964)
Navy Department (1964-1976)
AbbreviationSNOWI
Reports toCommander-in-Chief, Western Fleet (RN)
Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic (NATO)
NominatorSecretary of State for Defence
AppointerSecretary of State for Defence
Term lengthnot fixed
usually 1-4 years
PrecursorCommander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station
FormationApril, 1956
First holderCommodore George E. Hunt
Final holderCommodore Bryan J. Straker
AbolishedJune, 1976
SuccessionResident Naval Officer, Bermuda

The Senior Naval Officer, West Indies was a former appointment and command of the Royal Navy. He was responsible for the control and direction of West Indies area command. The office was first created from April, 1956 and June, 1976 when it was abolished.

History

The Senior Naval Officer, West Indies was a former appointment and command of the Royal Navy. He was responsible for the control and direction of the West Indies naval command area. The office was first created from April 1956. On the rundown of UK forces in the Caribbean in 1962, the remaining Army garrisons and troops were placed under the operational command of the Senior Naval Officer West Indies (SNOWI) who for this purpose was designated Commander British Forces Caribbean Area (CBFCA) and who continued to exercise his command from afloat or his office in Nassau or Bermuda as appropriate. No RAF units have been permanently stationed in the Caribbean since the Second World War.[1]

Following the 1966 Defence Review it was decided that the appointment of CBFCA should lapse in September 1966. Since then naval forces stationed in the West Indies have been under the full command of the Commander-in-Chief, Western Fleet (C in C WF) with operational command delegated to SNOWI; the land forces in British Honduras have been under command of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Army Strategic Command (GOC in C STRATCO) through the Commander, British Honduras Garrison. The Commanders-in-Chief Committee (West) (CICC(W)) was responsible for contingency planning in the Caribbean area. When CICC(W) contingency plans are implemented, SNOWI (or the Garrison Commander, British Honduras, for operations in that country) will normally be directly responsible as the operational commander to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). In June 1976 the office and command was abolished.[2]

Responsibilities

In his single service capacity SNOWI was delegated operational command and local administration of HM Ships specifically assigned to him in the West Indies. He is responsible to Commander-in-Chief, Western Fleet (CINCWF) for arranging a balanced programme for these ships, covering political commitments while also providing sufficient opportunity for maintenance and sustaining operational efficiency by weapon training and exercises. SNOWI has two subordinates in Resident Naval Officer, Nassau and Resident Naval Officer, Bermuda and in a NATO context he is Island Commander, Bermuda (ISCOMBERMUDA) under Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic.[3]

Office Holders

Post holders included:[4]

Additional Styles and Titles

Also known as Commodore, West Indies[4] and from 1962 Commander, British Forces Caribbean Area (CBFCA) until 1969 a NATO role.

References

  1. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office. DEFE 5/188/4. 1971.
  2. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office. DEFE 5/188/4. 1971.
  3. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office. DEFE 5/188/4. 1971.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865: Commodore West Indies" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, (November 2019). p. 172. Scotland. UK. Retrieved 8 December 2019.