Marching to the handover of HMS Dalriada, which has a new Commanding Officer at the helm following the appointment of Commander Mike Howarth to the role.
By Gavin Carr
Royal Naval Reserve Unit, HMS Dalriada, has a new Commanding Officer at the helm following the appointment of Commander Mike Howarth to the role.
For just over four years Commander John Cunane has been in charge of the Govan-based unit, but on June 30 formally handed-over responsibility to Commander Howarth.
“The past four years in command of HMS Dalriada has been the pinnacle of my 36-year career,” said Commander Cunane.
“This has been a challenging, but uplifting, period in Dalriada’s history. We have seen over 30 recruits complete their initial training, personnel deployed on Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels to the South Atlantic, personnel deployed in support of the Carrier programme, short-notice mobilisations in response to threats to shipping in the Middle East and specialists using their skills during exercises in the Baltic.
“More recently, we’ve also seen over 20 members of the ship’s company working alongside the NHS in delivering the vaccination programme.”
He added: “This is fitting testimony that HMS Dalriada provides operational capability. The unit is well placed to deliver the very positive initiatives underway in the Maritime Reserves as we continue to transform and align with the Royal Navy’s plans. I wish HMS Dalriada and the Maritime Reserves the future success they fully deserve.”
At the supersession ceremony on June 30 HMS Dalriada was joined by Commander Laura Wellington, current Commanding Officer of sister-Royal Naval Reserve unit HMS Scotia.
Both units, HMS Dalriada on the west coast and HMS Scotia on the east coast, are moving towards closer intergration between the Scottish units.
Dalriada’s incoming Commanding Officer, Commander Mike Howarth, joins the unit after a naval career stretching back to 1987 when he first joined the Royal Navy.
Spending most of his career with the Submarine Service, Commander Howarth has served on HMS Revenge, HMS Vigilant, HMS Victorious and HMS Vengeance. He has also served with the Submarine Flotilla at HM Naval Base Clyde as well as with the Commando Helicopter Force for two years.
When he left regular service in 2018, Commander Howarth joined HMS Dalriada as a Maritime Reservist fulfilling the role of head of department, senior divisional officer and Initial Naval Training Officer.
“I have proudly supported the Maritime Reserves since leaving regular Royal Navy service in 2018,” said Commander Howarth. “As a former member of the ship’s company of HMS Dalriada I am genuinely delighted to be given the opportunity to assume command of this key contributing Maritime Reserves Unit.
“The future of Maritime Reserves is a bright one, with exciting opportuntiies to offer as we continue to support the Royal Navy, defence requirements and adapt to the transformation initative driven by the Maritime Reserves Directive.”
He added: “I look forward to welcoming the ship’s company and trainees back in to the unit as we gradually recommence delivery of face-to-face taining in an environment which is compliant with evolving government guidelines.”
Established as a Royal Naval Reserve headquarters for Greenock and the Firth of Clyde back in 1965, HMS Dalriada was originally based at Inverkip. In 1982 the unit relocated to Navy Buildings in Greenock, before moving in 2013 to their current location in Govan, co-located with Royal Marine Reserves Glasgow Detachment.
Commanding Officer of HMS Scotia, Commander Laura Wellington, with the new CO of HMS Dalriada, Commander Mike Howarth.
HMS Dalriada currently has 125 members of the unit. For more information, including how to join, visit their webpage at: www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/maritime-reserves/royal-naval-reserve/units/dalriada.
- L-R: Commander John Cunane hands-over command of HMS Dalriada to Commander Mike Howarth.
- Commanding Officer of HMS Scotia, Commander Laura Wellington, with the new CO of HMS Dalriada, Commander Mike Howarth.
- Members of HMS Dalriada’s ship’s company gather for the handover at their Govan headquarters.
- Marching to the handover.
- Gathering to say farewell to Cdr Cunane.