There’s been a change at the top of the Royal Navy as Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE handed over the reins of Fleet Commander to Vice Admiral Andy Burns CB OBE.
Watched by First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB, ADC, a ceremony took place at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth – which the outgoing Fleet Commander once commanded – to formally transfer the second most senior Command post in the Royal Navy.
The Fleet Commander is responsible for commanding all operational elements of the Royal Navy – ships, submarines, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary – and acts as Joint Commander for the North Atlantic Operating areas.
VAdm Burns assumes the role of Fleet Commander with a rich operational background and was a previous Director Develop, ready to command the Navy of the future which is Global, Modern and Ready. He previously commanded the Amphibious Task Group and was Commander United Kingdom Strike Force, and Rear Admiral Surface Ships. He is also the Royal Navy’s Chief Naval Warfare Officer and Gender Advocate.
Adm Kyd joined in 1985 as a seaman officer and, after fleet training, his early years were spent at sea with operational deployments to the Gulf, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Caribbean, Baltic, Indian Ocean and wider Atlantic.
Commands at various ranks have included HMS Monmouth, Ark Royal and Illustrious. He has served as captain of BRNC and upon promotion to Rear Admiral in November 2018, he was appointed Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships.
Appointed Fleet Commander in March 2019, VAdm Kyd said: “It has been a distinct privilege being the Fleet Commander and I now hand over the watch with pride at what is being achieved by the Fleet across the world.”
VAdm Kyd has been at the centre of the Royal Navy’s return to carrier strike operations, first as Commander of United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group in 2015 and then as the first Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth the following year.
His shore-based appointments centred on the Ministry of Defence in London, including two years as the Military Assistant and Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, the Deputy Head of the Directorate of Operational Capability and as a desk officer for the Future Surface Combatant project (now Type 26 frigate). He has also instructed at the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “Thank you Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd for everything you have done as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander. “
VAdm Kyd added: “None of this is possible without the officers, ratings, marines and civil servants, whose dedication, resilience and leadership I have been so fortunate to work with and command.
“As ever, the greatest lesson is that you need to take your people with you, command them well and treat them with courtesy and respect. I am indebted to every Jack one of them.”