Royal Marines Brigadier Graeme “Jock” Fraser has visited A&P Falmouth as part of his familiarisation tour in his current role as Naval Regional Commander Wales and Western England. Graeme takes over from Commodore Jamie Miller RN.

Graeme met with senior A&P management at a time when the Group has just established a new Defence Division in the yard. During his two-day visit to Cornwall Brigadier Fraser also visited RNAS Culdrose.

Effectively the Naval Attaché for the region, Graeme’s responsibilities include the coordination of Naval Service support to the civil authorities in time of crises; liaising with the civic community; coordinating arrangements for Royal Navy and foreign warships visiting commercial ports; representing the Royal Navy at ceremonies and public events and supporting numerous Regular Navy, Royal Marines and Maritime Reserve units in the region.

In Falmouth Lt Commander Trevor Brookes, Resident Naval Officer, is Graeme’s right hand man in the port. His primary role is to provide the link between the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships that frequent the port and coordinate their support requirements along with many civic engagements.

I asked Brigadier Fraser how he saw the Royal Navy of the future. “These are exciting times for the Royal Navy. This week we have seen the 60,000 tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on trials off the coast of Cornwall. This is a real milestone for the RN towards having a strike force capability supporting world class strike aircraft and Royal Marines. Other vessels are under construction which include the Type 26 frigates.” he said.

Looking out from A&P’s Marine Operations centre towards the RFA Tiderace which is currently undergoing military customisation Graeme said: “ The four Tide Class ships were built to support the two new aircraft carriers and the wider operational Fleet. Here again Falmouth is playing a pivotal role in ensuring the ships are ready for front line service to refuel the carriers when they are commissioned into the Fleet.”

Falmouth is often referred to as the UK’s fourth largest naval port especially being designated as an MOD Cluster port.

“Falmouth is a hugely important port for the RN and RFA in terms of support, repairs and operational deployments. We also have a wide variety of British and foreign naval ships plus Royal Navy divers and Royal Marine Landing Craft also coming into the area for training purposes.” said Graeme.

Commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1993 having graduated from Aberdeen University on completion of Royal Marine Young Officer training he joined 45 Commando Royal Marines as a Troop Commander deploying on operations to Kuwait and Northern Ireland.

During the following 16 years Brig Fraser held a number of Regimental, intelligence and specialist Landing Craft appointments including sub-unit command and as Second in Command of 40 Commando Royal Marines.

He has been on operations in Kuwait, Northern Ireland Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to participating in military training exercises in a range of environments from arctic Norway, to the Caribbean, Brunei, West Africa and the USA.

He attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham in 2005/2006 concurrently gaining a Masters degree from Kings College London.

Promoted to Lt Col in 2009, Brig Fraser joined the Commander Amphibious Task Group’s staff as SO1 Amphibious Warfare deploying immediately on a 6-month deployment to the Far East which included support to coalition counter piracy operations off the Somali coast.

He underwent an intense two-year period with the Joint Force Headquarters, the UK’s extremely high readiness HQ, engaged in the military response to a range of crises around the globe. For this work he was appointed MBE in December 2015.

Returning once more to Scotland, Brig Fraser assumed command of 43 Commando Royal Marines in July 2015. A specialist operational unit within 3 Commando Brigade, 43 Commando provided 24/7 security to the UK’s strategic deterrent and a range of globally deployed maritime interdiction capabilities.

“I realise that Falmouth has very important links with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary going back over many decades I look forward to being in Falmouth as much as I can to further continue this very special relationship with the Royal Navy.”