Admiral lan Forbes
Admiral/Supreme Commander, SACLANT
Admiral lan Forbes joined the Royal Navy in 1965. He spent much of his early career at sea, including tours in HM Yacht BRITANNIA and on American Exchange with USS WH STANDLEY. Qualifying as a Principal Warfare Officer in 1976, he specialised as an Anti Air Warfare Officer in 1978.
He has commanded 4 ships. KINGFISHER, DIOMEDE. CHATHAM and INVINCIBLE, and been engaged in active operations off Iceland, the Falklands, in the Gulf and Adriatic. He has participated in the STANDING NAVAL FORCE ATLANTIC on 3 occasions, and was Staff Officer Operations to COMAS WSRIKFOR in 1986/88.
A graduate of the RAF Staff College at Bracknell, he attended RCDS in 1994. He was appointed CBE following work on Yugoslavia in the MOD in 1991/93, and was awarded the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in recognition of HMS INVINCIBLE’s participation in the NATO bombing campaign over Bosnia in 1995.
On promotion to Rear Admiral, he moved to the post of Military Advisor to the High Representative in Sarajevo, Car1 Bildt, later assuming the duties of Chief Of Staff within the High Representative’s office in Bosnia.
He then commanded the UK Task Group. He was the Commander onboard HMS INVINCIBLE and then HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during the crisis with Iraq in 1998, and returned to the Gulf onboard HMS INVINCIBLE in the wake of OPERATION DESERT FOX the following year. He later relocated to the Adriatic to command the UK maritime contribution to NATO operations in Kosovo.
He assumed his last appointment as Flag Officer Surface Flotilla in April 2000 where he had specific responsibility to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet for the operational capability of the Surface Flotilla.
He was promoted to Admiral in December 2001 and served as Deputy SACLANT for 10 months before taking up his current appointment. Admiral Forbes is a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust, and a Governor of Portsmouth High School for Girls.