Keith Blount 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 1984 as a helicopter pilot. He received his wings in 1986 and was a front line aviator at the age of 20. Through a varied flying career, he qualified as an instructor and flew in the Royal Navy Helicopter Display Team.
Blount has blended his aviation experience with a broad span of Command. He has commanded three warships, including the helicopter carrier HMS OCEAN and sailed in NATO Task Groups during Operation Sharpguard and Operation Active Endeavour. He was the Iraqi Maritime Task Group Commander during Operation TELIC and, more recently, was the United Kingdom's Maritime Component Commander, based in Bahrain, spanning Operations in Syria and Iraq.
His staff appointments have included three periods in the Ministry of Defence and his last London assignment was as Military Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Defence Studies and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Plymouth. Appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2012, he was awarded an operational Legion of Merit by the President of the United States in 2016. Blount was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2018.
Between 2015 and 2019 he was the Head of the Fleet Air Arm and the officer accountable for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
Having previously been Chief of Staff to the European Union Naval Force and Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, he was appointed as the Commander of NATO's Maritime Command in May 2019.