The Queen has receive in audience at Buckingham Palace, Admiral Sir Alan West, DSC, to mark his appointment as professional head of the Royal Navy as First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.
Admiral West, 54, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and led the Victory Parade through the City of London after the 1982 Falklands War. The frigate he commanded, HMS Ardent, was bombed and sunk by Argentine aircraft with the loss of 22 of her crew while supporting the landing of British troops at San Carlos. He is President of the HMS Ardent Association.
He has visited the Falklands several times and also Argentina, meeting Falklands veterans. He says:" We share a common bond of justifiable pride in the achievements of both Argentine and UK armed forces, and a deep regret for the loss of our comrades".
Admiral West's previous posts included naval secretary and Chief of Defence Intelligence. He joined the Royal Navy in 1965 and spent most of his career at sea, serving in fourteen different ships, and commanding three of them.
Admiral West is succeeded by Admiral Sir Jonathon Band as Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Commander-in-Chief East Atlantic, and Commander Allied Naval Forces North.
In 1982 Admiral Band served as Flag Lieutenant to the then Commander-in-Chief Fleet and overall Falklands Commander, Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, at headquarters in Britain. Admiral Band, who is 52, joined the Royal Navy in 1967, and commanded several ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.
Harold Briley, (MP) London