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News > Careers News > OP becomes first ever Commanding Officer of HMS Dagger

OP becomes first ever Commanding Officer of HMS Dagger

OP Simon Holden (97-05) has been appointed the Commanding Officer of HMS Dagger, a brand new class of sea vessel in the Royal Navy.
15 Aug 2022
Written by Simon Holden
Careers News

A  commissioning ceremony took place in Gibraltar Naval Base in July, to welcome HMS Dagger as she joined her sister ship HMS Cutlass on patrol in the waters around the Rock.

Royal Navy personnel, friends and families gathered to watch the commissioning ceremony, which saw Lieutenant Simon Holden Royal Navy, assume Command of HMS Dagger. 

HMS Dagger is one of two new advanced £5 million patrol ships charged with guarding the waters around Gibraltar. In the history of the Royal Navy, there has never been a vessel bearing the same name, something that Simon says makes his appointment “a great honour…and all the more exciting and rewarding.”  In an interview for the Royal Navy Forum, he said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone involved in this project and as her first Commanding Officer, I am looking forward to putting HMS Dagger through her paces and getting her operational as soon as possible.”

The Gibraltar Squadron provides security in British Territorial Waters, keeping close watch over Gibraltar's shores, reassuring its 34,000 inhabitants, demonstrating UK sovereignty, exercising with local and visiting forces, and provide protection to visiting warships, submarines and support vessels alongside their civilian counterparts in the Gibraltar Defence Police force. Its boats are on the Rock around the clock – 365 days a year.

Now in command of HMS Dagger, and stationed in Gibraltar as the Gibraltar Squadron’s Operations Officer and Specialist Navigator, Simon is expected to remain there for another year, where his career path will hopefully elevate him to the position of Lieutenant Commander and then Commanding Officer of Gibraltar Squadron. Simon has already completed the Specialist Navigators course (considered to be the most rigorous Royal Navy navigation course) and after completing more training, will in the future return to the UK to possibly navigate one of the aircraft carriers or the amphibious assault ships, Albion or Bulwark.

Please click here to view an interview with Lieutenant Simon Holden, filmed for the Gibraltarian public broadcast service at the commissioning ceremony.

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