I am delighted to take over as Second Sea Lord at such an exciting time for the Royal Navy.

Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock

He continued: “We have some amazing things happening - new ships and submarines - a complete new aircraft fleet, and some serious modernisation of existing equipment going on. We will make the most of it.”

Having been promoted from the post of the Naval Secretary (NAVSEC), the new Second Sea Lord paid tribute to the personnel who make up the whole force.

He said: “From Reserve and Regular Service, bringing experience of the maritime domain and operations to civil servants, providing stability and drawing on long experience with the Royal Navy and contractors who play crucial roles in support to projects and keeping the HQ running – each and every one is fundamental to our delivery of Maritime Power.”

The Admiral added: “Today is perhaps the most exciting, thrilling and humbling day of my Naval Career, I have been entrusted with one of the most significant roles in the Navy I love, the Navy I have served in for 34 years and the Navy which is the benchmark for all others.”

Although the title of Second Sea Lord is nearly as old as Nelson’s flagship, the job demands the most up-to-date and innovative thinking in order to meet the needs of a 21st century Royal Navy.

Historically the Second Sea Lord has been the Navy’s Principal Personnel Officer, but Admiral Woodcock will also be responsible for the Navy’s Strategic headquarters and for generating the people and equipment to run the Royal Navy at a time of massive change and investment.

The new equipment planned or already on line includes the two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales;  the new Type 26 Frigate, and the next system for Trident and the continuous at sea deterrent.

Admiral Woodcock, who takes over from Admiral Sir David Steel, joined the Navy in September 1980, coincidentally on the same day as Admiral Zambellas.

Admiral Howard, a guest at the supersession ceremony, is the US Navy’s first female four star Admiral.

HMNB Portsmouth

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