The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is delighted to announce the appointment of Commodore Tom Karsten RN as the next UK National Hydrographer, Deputy Chief Executive (Hydrography), based in Taunton, Somerset. Tom will be promoted to Rear Admiral on appointment and will take over from Rear Admiral Nick Lambert on December 17 this year.
Tom will be integral to continuing the key role the UKHO plays in working with the International Hydrographic Community, leading on Defence matters and supporting the discharge of the UK Government’s responsibilities for the Safety of Life at Sea, a task held by the Maritime Coastguard Agency with whom UKHO works closely.
Tom, 51, joined the Royal Navy in 1979. Following training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth and an in-service degree in History from Exeter University, he embarked on his seagoing career qualifying as a Principal Warfare Officer in 1987.
After a range of warfare appointments, including serving as Naval Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet during the First Gulf War, he took command of his first ship, the Hunt class mine hunter HMS BICESTER (1993-94). Subsequent promotion led to command of the Type 22 frigate HMS SHEFFIELD (1995-96) for operations in the Far East, Gulf and Mediterranean.
In 1996, he graduated from the Joint Service Defence College and went on to serve in Navy Plans in the MOD during the Strategic Defence Review. After a tour as Staff Operations Officer to the Surface Flotilla he was promoted to Captain in 2001 and appointed first to HQ Royal Marines as the Chief Staff Officer for Plans and Programmes and then to the Fleet HQ as head of the Commitments Division. In 2003, he took command of HMS ENDURANCE (2003-05) for two Antarctic seasons.
Returning ashore in 2005, he spent two years as Director of the Maritime Warfare Centre and, in 2007, was promoted to Commodore serving as Navy Command’s Deputy Commander Operations. This was followed by a year at Oxford University as the Royal Navy’s Senior Hudson Fellow researching Arctic geopolitics. He took up his current appointment as Commander British Forces Gibraltar in September 2010.
Speaking about Tom’s appointment, Chief Executive Ian Moncrieff CBE, said: “I have known Tom for 30 years and he will bring much experience and a sea-goer’s perspective to this key role. I am delighted to see Tom come onboard UKHO and know that he will follow-on the excellent work and contribution made by Nick.”
Tom commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be coming to Taunton to work for UKHO, an organisation that I have huge amount of respect for.”
Nick has held the post of UK National Hydrographer for over two years and will be retiring from the Royal Navy.
Speaking of his time at UKHO, Nick said: “I am hugely privileged and proud to have been so intimately involved with the UKHO’s internationally acclaimed role in providing the highest quality navigational products and services to the majority of the world’s mariners. Its work contributes to national security and the global economy, and is of a standard second to none. It is with great pleasure that I hand the baton to Tom Karsten, an accomplished mariner well versed in the needs of the sea-going user.”
Press Release, September 21, 2012