Fleet Commander

Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE

The role of the Fleet Commander is to provide ships, submarines and aircraft ready to meet the operational requirements of the UK Government.

Educated at Bromsgrove School, Ben Key joined the Royal Navy in 1984 as a University Cadet, subsequently graduating in Physics from London University.  

As a junior officer he qualified as both helicopter aircrew and as a Principal Warfare Officer and saw service in 6 of the 7 oceans of the world in a variety of frigates and destroyers.

He has been privileged to command four ships: the mine hunter HMS Sandown, the frigates HMS Iron Duke and HMS Lancaster, and the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.

Shore appointments have included Resources and Plans in MOD as the Aviation desk officer, an advisor to the Iraqi Director Joint Staff in Baghdad, PJHQ as DACOS J3 and HQ Air Command as the Head of the Joint Air/Maritime Organisation.  

He has also served as Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff.  From April 2013 to July 2015 he was Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for recruiting as well as individual and operational training across the Naval Service.

He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006 for his service in Baghdad and appointed CBE in 2016.  Promoted to Vice Admiral, he assumed the duties and responsibilities of Fleet Commander on 10 February 2016. 

Ben Key and his wife Elly have 3 children, all still in full time education.  

He is a governor of a small independent school that was founded by his grandmother (Stover, in south Devon), and has recently been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Technology by the University of Plymouth.

A Freeman of the City of London and a Younger Brother of Trinity House, he holds a Diploma from the Institute of Directors, is an alumnus of the London Business School and is also a Vice President of RN Rugby Union.

DOWNLOAD PROFILE PDF

He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006 and made a CBE in 2016.

Preventing Conflict

The Royal Navy’s presence on the world stage sends a powerful message that the UK is committed to global affairs and provides a stabilising influence. In this way we prevent conflict on the high seas and protect the flow of international trade on which our nation depends.  

Providing humanitarian assistance

When natural or man-made disasters occur, a country’s infrastructure and resources can be crippled. With loss of electricity, shortage of food and water supplies, and human lives at risk – responding to such life-threatening scenarios is central to the Royal Navy’s ethos. Because we have the skills, equipment and know-how to go anywhere, regardless of potential damage to local infrastructure.

prev next

Career History

Joined Up1984

Ben Key joined the Royal Navy in 1984 as a University Cadet, subsequently graduating in Physics from London University.

Awards2006

He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006 and made a CBE in 2016.

Flag officer Sea Training2013

From April 2013 to July 2015 he was Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for recruiting, individual and operational training within Navy Command.

Vice Admiral2016

Promoted to Vice Admiral, he will assume the duties and responsibilities of Fleet Commander on 10 February 2016.

Admiralty Board

Command over officers, ratings and marines

More

Navy Board

Responsible for running the Royal Navy

More

Related News

Royal Navy warship engineers commended

More

Royal Navy appoints new Fleet Commander

More
See all related news
Share