Vice Admiral Mike Utley CB OBE is the Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command.
Mike Utley is the Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command. He is NATO’s principal maritime adviser and has operational command of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.
He joined the Royal Navy in 1988 with his early years spent at sea as a Bridge Watchkeeper, Navigator and Principal Warfare Officer. This period included operational deployments to the Mediterranean, East and West Africa, the Gulf, Atlantic, Caribbean and Far East.
Commands at various ranks have included a patrol boat (HMS EXPLOIT), two offshore patrol vessels (HMS LEEDS CASTLE and HMS TYNE), the type 23 frigate HMS PORTLAND and the amphibious aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, during which he was awarded an Operational OBE for his service in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. He also served as Commander Sea Training where he was responsible for preparing warships, both UK and Allied, for operational deployments across the world. He commanded NATO’s at sea High Readiness Task Group in the Mediterranean, conducting maritime operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. He assumed command of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group in 2018, driving the operational training programme and integration between the aircraft carrier HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the F35-B fighter jet through WESTLANT 18 and 19 deployments.
Shore appointments have primarily focused on the Ministry of Defence in London, including as the Military Assistant and Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, the maritime staff officer within Defence Operational Capability and as the Deputy Head of the NATO and European Policy Team. He has also defined and managed project requirements within Defence Procurement and has been responsible for the appointing and career progression of hundreds of officers as a Career Manager.
As a Rear Admiral (2019) he was appointed Commander of the United Kingdom’s Strike Force, the Royal Navy’s deployable 2* operational commander at five days’ notice to deploy and command operations across the Strike Enterprise. This period also included duty as NATO’s HRF(M) MCC and as the Race and Cultural Advocate of the Royal Navy. Promoted to Vice Admiral, he assumed his current appointment in January 2023.