The Royal Navy survey branch based at Plymouth has a new commander.
Captain Matt Syrett has assumed command of the Hydrography and Meteorology Branch of the Navy, taking over from Captain David Robertson.
Matt said: “I am deeply privileged to take on the mantle of Hydrographer of the Navy. The versatility of our combined meteorological, oceanographic and hydrographic branch under his command has been clearly demonstrated on many occasions.’’
He said the branch personnel and ships were continuously deployed and at the forefront of operations worldwide including supporting the nuclear deterrent submarines and the newly-emerging carrier strike group embarked in HMS Queen Elizabeth. Teams were also embarked in HMS Enterprise and HMS Echo on anti-smuggling and search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean.
Matt said this force ‘punches well above its weight in its contribution: “I am pleased that their exceptional contribution is increasingly acknowledged across Defence. The range of operations conducted by the hydrography and meteorological cadre across the globe has been impressive, but I know that it is the talent of our people that underpins all that we will achieve and I am honoured to serve as the head of our branch.”
Captain Robertson is moving to another job with the Royal Navy. He said: “It has been a real privilege to lead this branch since September 2013 and being able to witness our bright, able and committed people delivering on operations worldwide.’’
He has helped oversee operations in the central Mediterranean involving HMS Enterprise; in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia at RAF Waddington and through RAF Marham, in the Antarctic ice, in the Far East involving HMS Echo; and the search for passenger flight MH370, and in Libya involving HMS Enterprise; in the USA with the RAF helping working up the F35 aircraft, supporting the nuclear deterrent submarines and the role of HMS Scott and HMS Gleaner.
He added: “Now more than ever the hydrological and meteorological branch is at the front line delivering and providing vital support to operations. Our people are excellent right across the board whether that be the engineers and contractors keeping the ships available and communicating, the logisticians supporting this incredible array of tasks or the operators in the thick of it. It has been an honour; I’m sad to step down but I am delighted to see that my relief is getting right into the thick of it from day one.’’
The HM branch provides the Royal Navy and Hydrographic Office with weather and underwater survey data to help compile charts and for more immediate operations and exercises.