Mike Utley is the Commander of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group Two. The Group is one of the standing elements of the maritime component of the NATO Response Force (NRF), held at very high readiness to form the nucleus of a NRF surface maritime task group.
Born, raised and educated in South Wales, he joined the Royal Navy as a Naval College Entrant in September 1988, spending his early career at sea in a number of navigation and warfare appointments. He possesses a variety of operational experience across the Middle and Far East, Africa and the Atlantic, focused on Maritime Security, Drug Interdiction, Counter-Terrorism and Disaster Relief Operations (Belize and Philippines). Having commanded 5 ships (EXPLOIT, LEEDS CASTLE, TYNE, PORTLAND and ILLUSTRIOUS) across the world, he has also been responsible for preparing units for deployed operations as Commander Sea Training.
With staff experience in central Policy and Strategy (Defence Operational Capability - Lead desk officer for operations in Libya and Deputy Head of NATO and European Policy), Human Resources (Officers’ Career Management) and Defence Procurement (Project Requirements Manager), he is a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies and a graduate of both Advanced and Higher Command and Staff Courses. He has recently completed an appointment as the Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, the professional head of the UK’s Armed Forces.
Married to Charlotte, they have five daughters, allowing little time for his pursuit of sea fishing, motorcycling and the enjoyment of rugby.