Vice Admiral (Retd.) Paul Bennett CB OBE
Vice Admiral Bennett joined the Royal Navy in September 1985 and has enjoyed an extensive sea-going career. He has commanded at every rank: HMS BITER, the patrol vessel of the Manchester Universities Royal Naval Unit (1991-1992); the Minehunter, HMS ATHERSTONE (1998-1999); and the destroyer HMS EXETER, including a return to the Gulf (1999-2000). As a captain, he was the first commanding officer of HMS DARING, the first T45 Destroyer (2008-2009). Following promotion to Commodore, he commanded the Amphibious Task Group operating in the Indian Ocean, Norwegian Arctic, and on the West coast of the USA (2009-2011). Finally, as a Rear Admiral, he commanded the UK Maritime Battlestaff (2017-2018).
Interspersed between sea going appointments, he has served ashore as the Fleet Operations Officer, the Maritime Desk Officer to the Director of Operational Capability in the MOD, and as capability manager in Navy Command for Above Water Capability and Maritime Security, for which he was honoured as an OBE. He also served for 6 months in Baghdad as the Advisor to the senior Iraqi hierarchy in their Joint Headquarters. From 2011-2013, he was the Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy, responsible for reshaping the Naval Service in the aftermath of SDSR 10. Promoted to rear admiral in February 2013, he was appointed as Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Command, ACNS(Cap) and Chief of Staff Navy Command HQ. He most recently served as Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships. Her Majesty the Queen appointed him as a Companion in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the Birthday Honours 2016. He served as the Chief of Staff, Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia from 2018-2021 from where he retired from regular service and took up a role as a NATO Senior Mentor.
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