The crew of the Royal Navy’s Flagship and HMS Bulwark welcomed its new commanding officer (Monday 10th).
Captain Andrew Burns assumed command of the Devonport based assault ship from Captain Alex Burton as the ship sailed home to HM naval Base Devonport, Plymouth, (Tuesday 11th) from supporting the Dorset Police in delivering a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Captain Burns said: “To take command of the Fleet Flagship is a privilege and honour. I look forward to guiding the ship through its future programme in protecting our nation’s interests.”
Captain Burns began his Royal Naval service in 1989 and has previously commanded the mine countermeasures ship, HMS Berkeley and the Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset in protecting the Al Basrah Oil Terminal and providing maritime security throughout the Arabian Gulf.
He held various other key positions including Director for Communications and Information Systems in the Multinational Force Headquarters in Baghdad and the Directorate of Strategic Plans in the Ministry of Defence. Most recently, Captain Burns was Commander Sea Training to the Flag Officer Sea Training based in Plymouth, responsible for preparing ships for their operational tasking.
Captain Burton will now take up position as Head of Maritime Capability working within the Ministry of Defence, London, for which he has been promoted to commodore.
HMS Bulwark is one of the Royal Navy’s two assault command and control ships. Launched in November 2001 she has a ship’s company of 320, a quarter of who are made up from 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. The ship can carry up to 200 marines in dedicated accommodation for long periods and another 500 for short periods. The flight deck can accommodate two Chinook or two Merlin helicopters. A large floodable dock holds four large landing craft – with another four carried on davits on the ship’s side.