Captain Ian Feasey has taken command of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during the ship’s maiden operational deployment.

According to the Royal Navy here:

“He took charge of the ship from Captain Angus Essenhigh in a traditional handover ceremony while the carrier was berthed in Guam in the Western Pacific. A resident of the South Hams in Devon, Captain Feasey was born in Bath and joined the Royal Navy in 1997. He has previously commanded the offshore patrol vessel HMS Severn and the Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth.”

He ws quoted as saying:

“I am incredibly proud to be taking command of the Fleet Flagship during a key phase of her Carrier Strike deployment. I have inherited a first-class team which has already achieved so much.”

Having relinquished command of the flagship, Captain Essenhigh will be promoted to Commodore and assume the role of Commander UK Carrier Strike Group in early 2022.

“Being Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth has been a unique privilege. I am sad to leave but do so safe in the knowledge the ship is in great hands. These are fantastic ships, crewed by amazing people and I can’t wait to get back to sea in one in the very near future.”

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Jack Pott
Jack Pott
25 days ago

HMS Severn to HMS QE?

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Pott

At least he’s got a lift installed on the QE

Geoffi
Geoffi
25 days ago

In the middle of a deployment ? Is this normal ?

Rob Richardson
Rob Richardson
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

That was my first thought

Daniel
Daniel
25 days ago
Reply to  Rob Richardson

Yes it’s not unusual. Mostly it’s for people who require a certain amount of sea time in key places in order to qualify for promotion.

Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

They have done this before whilst QE was in New York I thought that odd as well so long as they don’t swap every 5 weeks?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
25 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

‘Being Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth has been a unique privilege.’ Seems half the navy above coxswain has been in charge of this ship. Talk about revolving doors.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Revolving doors , hope there Gas and watertight how does one apply the 2 clips rule .Never had those on any ship I served on The Navy is really going with Savoy elegance for the new Qe Class

Rob
Rob
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Giving as many as possible this unique experience. Makes perfect sense.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

I believe it possibly is ……………… The skipper of Prince of Wales also changed from Captains Houston to Higham while the ship was recently deployed overseas (in Gibraltar). Angus Essenhigh (4th Captain of The Queen) assumed command in January 2020 – so has had 21 months in command. The new skipper now gains two months’ initial experience taking the carrier back to the UK. It’s clearly a statement of confidence in Essenhigh – now well experienced and due to replace Steve Moorhouse (another previous skipper of The Queen) as the Commodore of the UK-carrier force. As an aside, don’t those… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

In the middle of deployment is indeed weird, but its a promotion, possibly the previous Commodore has left?

Looking at previous CSG commodores they all seem to average 18 months in the job which is based at Portsmouth and has a staff of 65.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Such a short period in command. Significant army commands are usually for 2.5 years.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

I guess this is such a major deployment that the next one may be less significant, so best get the new boss to experience a major one.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Yes. Drafting schedules for all ranks work around the individual, not vessel deployment duration. Even the lowest ranking Able Seman or Naval Airmen can be drafted mid deployment.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Correct on that one,Robert I myself was on the ERP whilst our ship was in refit a couple of times I’d be flown out with 24hrs notice tòo stop-gap Was even once flown out from blighty for a mid deployment draft as the person’s sea time was up and he didn’t extend

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Yep, you can change captain without issue. Its no different than anyone else joining or going on draft. Quick steep learning curve after the handover.
For engineers it was usually a 7 day documented and structured handover…
For COs its a morning…mostly signing and mustering whats in the COs safe!

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And the spirits Cabinet ,Gunbuster One Last Btandy for the road chin,chin

Tams
Tams
24 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

I don’t see it as a problem.

It’s good to get personnel experience, and having had the new commander of the CSG be a now ex-captain of one is a good idea.

I do fear that his desire to go back to sea will never be fully fulfilled. As a Commodore, he now has a desk job and will spend at most a few days on any ship.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
23 days ago
Reply to  Tams

Dunno about that, Tams ………….. the current Commodore, Steve Moorhouse, has had plenty of sea time over the last year – Joint Warrior (Sept 2020), Strike Warrior (May 2021) – and a seven months deployment to the Far East.
Essentially, Moorhouse (and soon to be Essenhigh) is the tactical commander of a mini-task-force. When the Navy was bigger, he would probably have been given the rank of Rear Admiral.
Perhaps the UK Fleet Commander (until recently, Jerry Kydd) fits the command profile you have in mind ……. ie a desk job, with limited time at sea.

Pmichael
Pmichael
24 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Having served as captain on one of the two carriers will become a requirement for advancing careers soon, so there is a dynamic to give as many potential candidates the opportunity.

Chris
Chris
25 days ago

Seems very odd to change a Captain of the flag ship and carrier group mid way through her maiden tour?

Also I’m not doubting the new captains qualifications but he hasn’t had any big ship experience… seems a hell of a step up from one patrol ship and one frigate to a carrier with air group and associated escorts

Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Maybe their short of Ops Officers ?And the New Captain was next on the superior date List

Dave G
Dave G
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Is he not just becoming captain of the carrier and not in charge of the group?

I assumed that the commodore in charge of csg was at sea and in charge of the escorts and general ops of the group etc (according to the article, this is what the old captain is becoming in “early 2022”, i assume he needs to do some courses to go with the promotion and to get ready for the new role in a few months).

Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago
Reply to  Dave G

Was a time when an officer became a Commodore they would usually, Be Drafted to a Shore establishment

Sriham
Sriham
24 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The correct term is”appointed”

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Sriham

Sorry my ,eloquence and etiquette, in Naval terminology is somewhat rusty general banter was always with the term” Drafted, by Draftie” I do apologise,

Derek
Derek
18 days ago
Reply to  Dave G

Would he stay on board and ‘shadow’ Moorhouse for the next couple of months?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Hi Chris,

I wondered about the lack of big ship experience as well.

However, two things spring to mind looking at the fact he joined the navy in 1997.

Firstly, he may well achieved command seniority as the Invincibles were leaving service so limited opportunity for big ship experience.

Secondly, I have noticed that they do not always seem to mention all the command experience when making these annoucements.

Cheers CR

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

What big ships do we have that are one size smaller than a carrier? Type 45? But thats not much bigger than a frigate.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
25 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Albion Class LPD. The size of the warship makes very little difference. These officers are selected for command based on experience and ability.

chariotRider
chariotRider
24 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, The bigger ships we have / had when Captain Feasey was reaching command rank would possibly have included Ocean and the two amphibs Albion and Bulwark. The biggest ships the MoD operates other then the carriers are the RFA Tide Class at 39,000tons. So the step up to carrier command is going to be a big one. I would imagine that the navy will put as many of its officers onto the carriers as possible to give them ‘supported’ big ship experience before they reach command rank. The USN has a similar issue given their carriers are in… Read more »

northco
24 days ago
Reply to  chariotRider

How the USA promotes someone to Captain of a Carrier : As Quoted from the Tom Clancy Book “Carrier: A guided tour of an Aircraft Carrier” Command- The Top of the Heap For Naval aviators, the path to combat command starts when they arrive at their squadron for their third flying tour (another 3 to 4 year, two cruise sea tour) and are assigned a major squadron department (maintenance, training, operations, safety, supply, etc.) to run. How well they do here will ultimately determine how far they will go in the navy. After the department head tour, officers who prove… Read more »

CariotRider
CariotRider
23 days ago
Reply to  northco

Thanks Northco, that was an interesting read.

The USN seem to do it in a rather more structured manner than the RN as suggested by this brief descritption of Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd’s career…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Kyd

Although Rear Admiral Martin Connell did join the FAA, commanding ship helicopter flights before commanding HMS Severn and eventually HMS Illustrious.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/fleet-air-arm

Thank again

CR

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I’d scratch Gosport Ferry from my CV as well

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Do you think he should have commanded a T45 as well? Thats still only one ship, and not much bigger than a frigate. What is a big ship?

Deep32
Deep32
24 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As @RB says, it’s done on a combination of factors. SSN captains often go on to command ASW frigates as their next sea draft (poacher turned gamekeeper) never having served on a frigate as a junior warfare officer! It wouldn’t happen if they weren’t deemed capable.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Having former Sub captains on ASW frigates used to be standard for T22. Not so much now on T23.
Then again T22 captains used to be full on 4 ring captains not 3 ring commanders.

Big ship driving and handling experience was probably gained on other Capital ships POW or Albion. When on Bulwark we took out Oceans and Albions futur COs to get some handling experience. QE also has a 3 ring Navs…if he cannot drive and berth the ship the RN is in as big a mess with ship handling as the USN!

Deep32
Deep32
23 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Didn’t realise that it slowed down. My last CO back in the early noughties, left us, picked up his 4th ring and went to Invincible as CO, having been a SM warfare officer his entire career! Figure that one!!

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I’ve witnessed American handling coming alongside 1 they didn’t get their heaving lines back weighted 2 they had too put a sideparty over to repaint 3 jetty pontoons smashed, and I thought Coeboys rode horses

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Royal Navy has never had a Ship with such Tonnage before therefore Qe class are the twoi ships the Navy can class a Big ,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
23 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Tommo, I am well aware that the largest ships the Royal Navy has ever had are big! Some would categorise them as super-carriers.

Someone was talking about the new Captain’s previous experience and said he had little experience of big ships before his command of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Captain signs for the ship he commands I would expect his Navies Draft is at least 18months to 24 I’d hate to have a c126 if anything happened most probably his Nav is a ,LtCdr or Cdr for such a job .As you know being the Captain is the loneliest job whilst deployed

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

The size of the vessel makes little difference. Command is Command, and these guys are given carrier commands because they have more than proved there ability and experience. The RN does not give out these commands lightly.

Graham
Graham
25 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I agree. Just that others said new incumbent did not have much big ship experience.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Pn your side here Robert , He’s proved himself capable, with the Board be it as a PWO, Seamanship, even current World affairs comes into play with advancement they don’t just get appointed for Looking Smart.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The old adage “It’s not what you Know ,it’s who you bxxx” or which school,Hunt,Polo club did you attend, no longer cuts the mustard , The Navy of today rewards those who show their ability through Exams and fleet boards not odd handshakes

James Fennell
James Fennell
24 days ago
Reply to  Chris

It’s not mid way really, mostly done now apart from the voyage home. Also the navy needs to build up a cadre of carrier experts after a long gap – most of the previous generation are retired.

Meirion x
Meirion x
24 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Essenhigh is Not Commander of CSG!
He is only the Captain of the HMS QE. it’s self.
Moorhouse is CinC of CSG.

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion x
Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago

Could it be that a Captain’s,LOA for the whole Deployment was too much for the treasury and one man or his blown the deployment entertainment Pot half way through

Meirion x
Meirion x
24 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

“…and one man or his blown the deployment entertainment Pot half way through.”

I think that responsibility would be of the CSG Command staff of Moorhouse or a subordinate?

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion x
Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

But boy can they entertain ,when it comes too a Cock and Arse Sorry cocktail party

Meirion x
Meirion x
24 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yes, I did see some photos of a few weeks ago of the entertainment of foreign guests aboard the QE.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
25 days ago

All USN carrier COs & XOs have to be naval aviator/flight officer qualified – I guess that is not true for the RN?

Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Captain’s of surface vessels are Operation branch officers their subordinates such as their Commander can be Air Arm

Ron
Ron
25 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Tommo not quite true, on a RN carrier you could have the situation where the Commander Air Arm outranks the Captain of the carrier, however the Captain of the ship is God, the guy in charge possibly even and Admiral of the airgroup is well not God. The Captain of the ship can over rule an Admiral on board as the ship is the Captain and the Captain is the ship. And yes it has happened that the Captain of a ship has countermanded an order from an Admiral. I have often wondered about the US carrier command structure, is… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
24 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Yeah the Shack door is an impenetrable force…. if you’re not on the access list, you’re not getting in… Sir.

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Air can whilst the ship is conducting air ops But unless the Admiralty has change fleet branch structures Operatiomal trained officers are allocated the position of Captain once that rank be it Lt for sweepers CDr for Frigates is achieved

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
23 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Yes, in the USN they are surface qualified as well, will have commanded a ship previously & will also have gone through a nuclear engineering course/cruise – they don’t just pluck them out of a cockpit & stick them on the bridge. e.g. take a look at the career of the current captain of the Ford. https://www.dvidshub.net/news/389459/capt-paul-lanzilotta

Tams
Tams
24 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

No, because they’re in charge of a *ship*, not an aircraft.

Bloody hell, just because the US does it one way does not mean that’s the only way or that they are even right.

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Tams

The US has a Navy please Tams

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
24 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The USN does sack a lot of its COs for being useless. That rarely happens in the RN. The selection process is far more rigorous and the previous experience far higher.

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Quite agree Gunbuster .. Jay walking across the flight deck is a sackable offence, LOL

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
23 days ago
Reply to  Tams

Ah, but they are surface qualified, will have commanded a ship previously & will also have gone through a nuclear engineering course/cruise – they don’t just pluck them out of a cockpit & stick them on the bridge. e.g. take a look at the career of the current captain of the Ford. https://www.dvidshub.net/news/389459/capt-paul-lanzilotta Whilst I certainly would not say that the US does everything better I can see the potential utility in this (as I can between an interchange of submarine & destroyer officers).


Graham Moore
Graham Moore
23 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Why do you need to do a nuclear engineering course/cruise before commanding HMS QE – she is not a nuclear powered vessel.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
23 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You don’t & at no point did I say that one did but US carriers are hence why their captains have to do the course …

Last edited 23 days ago by Heidfirst
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

My mistake. Apologies.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham for putting that too rest ,That’s why we’re so good at RAS Ls

Sriham
Sriham
24 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

It used to be the case , but it became either a lack of Carriers or suitably qualified 4 ring Captains that did away with that tradition

Marius
Marius
25 days ago

The more officers, of all ranks, with carrier experience, the better. Training for ‘eventualities’ during peace time, is far better than rushed affairs during a crisis. Personally I hope there are crew rotations at all levels, so as to broaden experience with this newly commissioned weapon of war.
Already I get the impression that HMS PoW has upped the pace as far as training and bedding-in goes. Wonderful!

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago

It needs a caption “what’s that button do” “ don’t press that it’s the………..click”

Tommo
Tommo
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Trident carrying Carriers Johnathan , could catch on

Mark
Mark
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

No he’s pointing to the Rum tank….
For God’s sake you’ve drunk it dry is this crew that bad…?

The Big Man
The Big Man
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

A weekly caption competition would be fun.

Mark
Mark
24 days ago
Reply to  The Big Man

Yeah it can get a bit stiff on this site.
A bit of humour once in a while is good for the soul.

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Probably .Because I’ve just blown the Deployment entertainment budget and still got 3 months to go that’s why your here hope you’ve got deep pockets Sign just here Oppo I’m off

Mark
Mark
24 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

🤣🤣🤣
You’ll have to make do with punch n Judi…

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I said Puppets not Muppets this is a carrier not a Sweeper

Ron
Ron
25 days ago

Silly question but does anyone know what the pin badge is above the medels?

MikeTango
MikeTango
25 days ago
Reply to  Ron

RN Surface Fleet Badge

Trish Price
Trish Price
25 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Looks like a submariners Dolphin badge

magenta
magenta
25 days ago
Reply to  Ron

I think it’s the Principal Warfare Officer pin, introduced in 2020. As the pic is only 766×510 at its best it is difficult to get a proper squiz at the pins.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
25 days ago

Number five, I think!

Tommo
Tommo
24 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Issued by Macdonalds extended service Pin

Lee M. Foley
Lee M. Foley
24 days ago

From my U.S. Navy perspective I wold think the Change of Command happened in mid deployment due to the former Captsin being a Commodore selectee.

Tommo
Tommo
23 days ago
Reply to  Lee M. Foley

If he has , then be behind a desk for eternity, but at least he’ll have a driver