HMS Queen Elizabeth’s new CO takes charge

Captain Angus Essenhigh will lead HMS Queen Elizabeth as she works towards full operations, after taking over from Commodore Steve Moorhouse as the aircraft carrier’s commanding officer.

The experienced Capt Essenhigh, who joined the Royal Navy in 1992, steps into the breach following Cdre Moorhouse’s promotion to commander of the UK’s carrier strike group.

After extensive trials with the UK’s F-35 Lightning jets at the end of last year, HMS Queen Elizabeth is now preparing for more sea trials before operational deployments in 2021.

“I join at an exciting time for the ship following a very successful operational test deployment with UK F-35s off the east coast of the USA last year, and as she continues her development towards the first operational deployment in 2021.” Captain Angus Essenhigh

Capt Essenhigh, who is the fourth commanding officer of the aircraft carrier, has previously been in command of HMS Daring and HMS Protector.

During his spell in charge of Daring, he provided humanitarian assistance to the Philippines following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. He was eventually awarded an OBE for that work.

While on Protector, Capt Essenhigh, who was made a captain in 2016, led the ice patrol ship on two lengthy missions to Antarctica.

It’s a huge honour to take command of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most complex platform the Royal Navy has ever built

Captain Angus Essenhigh

He also has experience in counter-mines operations, having been in command of a Mine Counter Measures crew on three different ships, including seven months with HMS Pembroke in the Gulf.

On top of this work, he has previously served in frigates and as the Navigating Officer of a destroyer during an exchange with the US Navy.

He has also commanded two P2000 patrol ships and has served on HMS Kent and had an earlier spell on Daring as an Air Warfare Officer, contributing to the first of class sea trials programme.