royalnavy.mod.ukTop Class Employer with Top Class People
Royal NavyRoyal Navy

Commander-in-Chief Fleet (CINCFLEET)

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope KCB OBE
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope KCB OBE

Commander, Allied Maritime Component Command Northwood

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope KCB OBE

As the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, a position he took up in November 2007, Mark Stanhope has full command of all deployable Fleet units, including the Royal Marines.  He is responsible for providing ships, submarines, aircraft and Royal Marine units ready in all respects for any operations that the UK Government requires.   As a NATO Commander, he is the maritime advisor to the Joint Force Commander (Brunssum) and is tasked to ensure NATO maritime forces are ready to engage in joint and combined operations as required by the North Atlantic Council.  He is also directly responsible for elements of the Standing NATO Response Force.

Joining the Royal Navy in 1970, his career has included command of submarines, a frigate and an aircraft carrier as well as broad experience in Whitehall and the NATO Alliance.  During the Cold War he commanded the conventional submarine HMS Orpheus (1981-1983) and the nuclear powered submarine HMS Splendid (1986-1989). Utilising his experience in the submarine Flotilla he was the “Teacher” of prospective submarine commanding officers on the unique “Perisher” course (1989-1990) and commanded the Submarine Sea Training Organisation (1993-1994).  A shift to the surface Flotilla in 1991, in command of HMS London, broadened his portfolio and included the first UK warship visit to Northern Russia in nearly 50 years and operational patrols in the Caribbean and Arabian Gulf.  His final sea command was the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (1998-2000) which included combined exercises and operational patrols again in the Gulf, but also off Sierra Leone.

In between sea appointments he has worked in the Ministry of Defence for the Naval Staff and as a personal staff officer to the Chief of Defence staff (1994-1996).  His experience of Whitehall was expanded in 2002 by a short secondment to the Cabinet Office.  His initial NATO assignment was in the newly formed Regional Headquarters of Allied Forces North, based in Holland.  Following this he served as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet in the Fleet Headquarters in Portsmouth.  His last appointment was again in NATO, this time in Norfolk, Virginia, USA as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, a four star post leading on the military transformational agenda of the Alliance.

As a junior officer Admiral Stanhope read Physics at St Peter’s College Oxford.  He conducted formal staff training at Greenwich and attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1997.  He also attended the Higher Command and Staff Course in 1998.  Awarded the OBE in 1990, he was knighted in 2004 and is a recipient of the US Legion of Merit (Officer).  As Commander-in-Chief Fleet he also holds the honorary post of Vice Admiral of the United Kingdom.  A Freeman of the City of London and the Guild of Freemen he is a Younger Brother of Trinity House, a fellow of the Nautical Institute and a Liveryman of the Upholders Company.

After much time away from home, he has interests in family life, reading, trying to play golf and trying to get back to sea again in sailing boats!