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UDT 2024

Michael Wood MBE

Captain Michael Wood MBE

Head Under Water Battlespace Capability, Navy Develop, Royal Navy
United Kingdom

Michael Wood joined the Royal Navy in 1991 as a University Cadet. After BRNC Dartmouth, he studied International Relations at the London School of Economics (BSc) and Cambridge (MPhil). His junior appointments included the frigates MONTROSE, CAMPBELTOWN and CHATHAM – the last as Operations Officer during the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami relief effort.

A PWO(U) and PWO(N), Wood received the Royal Institute of Navigation and Captain Farmer Memorial prizes for Specialist Navigators in 2006. At FOST, he was responsible for the introduction of electronic navigation doctrine, training and accreditation as the Fleet transitioned to ‘paperless’ navigation. Between 2008 and 2010, Wood held the dual role of Navigating Officer of the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and Flag Navigator to COMUKCSG.

His subsequent tour as the Executive Officer of the frigate ARGYLL spanned the full cycle of generation from refit to deployment and back and earned a COM(F) commendation. In 2012 he spent time ashore in Northwood at the Fleet Operations Division as lead planner to CTF 320 (Maritime Special Operations). This appointment encompassed Theatre ASW and Maritime Counter Terrorism contingency planning, and execution of operations in support of UK maritime integrity during a period of growing Russian naval activity.

Wood is a 'Distinguished Graduate' of the US Joint Advanced Warfare School; completing a MSc in Campaign Planning and Strategy, and publishing on lessons from the US experience of carrierled crisis response operations. He assumed Command of the frigate HMS SOMERSET in 2014. During a period spent largely as the Duty Towed Array Patrol Ship and Fleet Ready Escort, SOMERSET was routinely activated for operations in Home waters, including credit for the UK’s largest Class-A drugs seizure. For this the ship was awarded both the Frigate Effectiveness and Anti-Submarine Warfare Trophies, and Wood appointed MBE in 2017.

Between 2016 and 2018 he served at Joint Forces Command HQ in Northwood as both SO1 Command Plans and briefly as the OF5 Director of Staff. He joined COMATG in January 2019 as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, a period encompassing the JEF amphibious BALTIC PROTECTOR deployment. He assumed Command of the Ice Patrol Ship HMS PROTECTOR in December 2019. Michael Wood lives on Dartmoor with his wife and two boys – he enjoys skiing, running, sailing and horse riding.