Andrew Betton joined the Royal Navy in 1987, studying Geology at Oxford University as a cadet. He served on a destroyer during the first Gulf War and for two years in a Patrol Boat off Northern Ireland before joining the Fleet Air Arm as a Lynx helicopter Observer, flying from a range of frigates and destroyers deployed around the world.

Andrew completed Principal Warfare Officer Training in 2000 and was appointed to HMS GRAFTON as Gunnery Officer, prior to command of the frigate HMS WESTMINSTER, deploying to West Africa and the North Atlantic. As Commander Sea Training in the FOST organization, he led the delivery of operational training at sea for British and foreign warships for 2 years. He later deployed to the northern Arabian Gulf as the Commander of the Iraqi Maritime Task Group with tactical command of UK, US and Iraqi vessels protecting Iraq’s offshore oil infrastructure, before command of the Helicopter Carrier HMS OCEAN conducting strike operations off Libya during 2011 and supporting the London 2012 Olympic Games. Most recently he served as Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group from Sep 16, deploying with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH for her maiden deployment to conduct embarked F35B Flying Trials in the Western Atlantic.

Ashore he has served in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), with responsibility for Rules of Engagement and Targeting across all deployed UK joint activity and in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as desk officer for the procurement of the Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft Carriers. Subsequently, as Assistant Head of Defence Operational Capability in MoD, he led multiple strategic level analytical studies of UK military activity and completed the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2013.

Andrew returned to PJHQ in 2014 to head the joint planning (J5) division charged with campaign and contingent planning, primarily across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Following a short tour as the UK Naval Attaché in Washington DC he was promoted to become the inaugural Deputy Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command Norfolk from September 2019. He assumed the role of Director Joint Warfare (DJW) in Strategic Command in November 2021.

Click here to go back to the Speakers page