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NATO Allied Maritime Command changes Commanders

NORTHWOOD, UK – In a brief ceremony this morning at Northwood Headquarters outside London, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson CB CBE handed over command of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command MARCOM to Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone CB CBE.  Numerous NATO and UK national defence leaders were in attendance, including NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip Breedlove.

Vice Admiral Hudson has held command of MARCOM since February 14, 2013, leading the newly consolidated command forward as the Alliance’s Single Service Command for the maritime with command of a range of NATO maritime assets (maritime patrol aircraft, ships and submarines) from its initial operating capability to full operational capability, culminating with the certification exercise TRIDENT JEWEL 2015 in March.

As Commander MARCOM, Vice Admiral Hudson commanded two live operations: NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD and NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, and held overall command of four Standing Naval Forces: Standing NATO Maritime Groups ONE and TWO and Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Groups ONE and TWO.

During his tour, Vice Admiral Hudson met with key leaders of numerous Allied and partner nation navies, and led two major maritime commanders meetings, titled Sea Sense, that brought together naval leaders from around the world to discuss issues of shared concern, interoperability, and partnership opportunities in various aspects of maritime security.

"Under the command of Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, Allied Maritime Command has kept their fingers on the pulse of all threats and risks to maritime security, wherever they occurred,” said General Breedlove.  "His extraordinary strategic vision, insight and leadership took this command to new operational levels under challenging and emerging security threats.  I am grateful for his wise counsel over the past two years and it has been my honor and privilege to serve with him."

Vice Admiral Johnstone takes command of MARCOM following his previous assignment as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, the First Sea Lord's agent in the UK MoD, Whitehall and London.  His afloat commands include HMS IRON DUKE (a Type 23 Frigate), and HMS BULWARK (an amphibious assault ship and the Fleet’s Amphibious Flagship); where he undertook operations in the Northern Gulf, Horn of Africa and off Lebanon. He was awarded a CBE for an extended Gulf Deployment and the evacuation of British Nationals out of Beirut.

As Commander Allied Maritime Command, he will continue the work begun by Vice Admiral Hudson in support of NATO’s transition to a more ready and capable Alliance, developing maritime aspects of the Readiness Action Plan and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.

"To Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, you are taking command of a competent and profession force, you will undoubtedly be tested over the course of your command, but make no mistake about it, you are the right man to lead this force,” said General Breedlove.  "I look forward to your candid guidance and insight in support of our Alliance."

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