Kenya educated Commander takes charge of Royal Navy’s fastest ship

Commander Tom Weaver
Commander Tom Weaver

Commander Tom Weaver has taken charge of the Royal Navy’s fastest ship as it leaves Plymouth to return to action.

Born in Wolverhampton, Commander Weaver attended schools in the UK and Kenya.

He read for a degree in International Relations at Keele University and joined the Royal Navy in 2001.

While serving as a junior officer he enjoyed a varied start to his career, including Operations ORACLE and TELIC in the Persian Gulf, Fishery Protection around the UK and through the Merchant Navy Liaison Scheme, two months onboard P&O’s MV Aurora.

As a Ship’s Diver he served as Diving Officer in HMS NORFOLK, Signal Communications Officer in HMS IRON DUKE and was the commissioning Navigating Officer in HMS CLYDE, deploying to the South Atlantic.

Qualifying as a Principal Warfare Officer in 2012, he joined the UK’s high-readiness AntiSubmarine frigate HMS ST ALBANS as the Underwater Warfare specialist and Operations Officer, completing multinational exercises and national tasking and contributing to the Ship being awarded the Surface Flotilla Underwater Warfare Trophy.

An appointment to the UK Maritime Battlestaff followed, which included a tour to the UK Maritime Component Commander Bahrain as Deputy Staff Operations Officer during the COUGAR 13 deployment.

He has had the privilege to command the patrol boat HMS BLAZER, and Sandown Class Minehunters RAMSEY, SHOREHAM and BANGOR, the latter of which was deployed to the Gulf for Operation KIPION.

A graduate of Advanced Command and Staff Course, Tom lives in Devon with his young family. A keen kitesurfer, he is Secretary of the RNRM Kitesurfing Association; when there is no wind and he is not renovating the family home, he also enjoys running, cycling and motorcycling.

HMNB Devonport based Type 23 HMS Sutherland – nicknamed the Fighting Clan – returned to sea following some well-deserved leave for her crew.

In response to the recent escalation in tensions with Iran, which uses a large fleet of small boats to harass shipping in the Gulf of Hormuz, HMS Sutherland recently tested a new anti-ship missile designed to counter the threat they pose.

HMS Sutherland fired four new Martlet missiles at a fast-moving speedboat off the Welsh coast to see whether the weapon could be launched from a ship as well as a helicopter.

Martlet – also known as the Lightweight Multi-role Missile – was originally designed to be fired by Wildcat helicopters to take out small boats which posed a threat to the Fleet, alongside the heavier Sea Venom for dealing with larger warships.

But recent incidents where both merchant and military shipping have been attacked by manned and unmanned surface and air systems armed with explosive devices, underlined the risks faced by Royal Navy units deployed in danger zones.

Speaking about the trial, Commander Weaver said: “The impressive result of this trial was achieved through the hard work and cooperation of a wide array of industry and defence partners and it was rewarding for Sutherland to have played such a key role in its success.”

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