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New commander for Royal Navy's Amphibious Task Group

The UK's very high readiness task group of warships, aircraft, submarines and Royal Marines has a new commander.

Commodore James Parkin has assumed the role of Commander of the UK Amphibious Task Group (COMATG), which exists to respond to unfolding crises anywhere in the world where the UK's national interests may be at risk.

As well as conducting annual deployments worldwide to prove the global reach of the Royal Navy, the amphibious task group has been activated for many operations in recent years.

Cdre Parkin said: "Having been involved in some way with most of the amphibious deployments the UK has conducted over the past 10 years, and having been based in Devonport for almost all of my naval career, I am personally delighted and tremendously honoured to take command of the UK's Amphibious Task Group.

This is an exciting time for the Royal Navy, with our carrier strike capability about to come on stream.

Commodore James Parkin

"This is an exciting time for the Royal Navy, with our carrier strike capability about to come on stream, and littoral strike capability continuing to perform its role as the nation's conventional deterrent force, both of which are happening against a backdrop of an uncertain world.

"In is the job of the wider UK maritime battle staff, of which COMATG is a key part, to provide Her Majesty's Government with maritime options to deal with this uncertainty.

"Together with colleagues in 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, my team of Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF personnel, with French, Dutch, Australian and Canadian staff, make up the foundation stone of one of two pillars of the nation's ability to deliver effect on land from the sea, be that by diplomatic support, capacity building with our allies, or deterring - and if necessary defeating - our adversaries wherever they may be."

As COMATG, Cdre Parkin will usually exercise command of the task group from afloat in HMS Albion, but in the future could do so from a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. He will command thousands of sailors, submarines, Royal Marines and airmen who will be part of the task group.

In 2018, HMS Albion deployed to the Asia Pacific region on maritime security operations and to take part in joint exercises and training with our key allies. Later this year, the Amphibious Task Group will deploy to the Middle East to continue working with regional partners.

In 2017, elements of the high-readiness task group were activated to deploy to the Caribbean to provide disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

In 2015, COMATG, HMS Bulwark and 814 Naval Air Squadron were tasked to assist with the migrant crisis in the central Mediterranean off the coast of Libya. Later the same year the units deployed to Malta to support the delivery of security for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

In 2013, HMS Illustrious took 500 tonnes of aid to the Philippines following a devastating typhoon and in 2011 COMATG and HMS Ocean deployed to assist in the international response to the Libya crisis.

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