Deputy Commander (September 2013 - Present) 
Captain David E. Bence
Deputy Commander

David joined CTF52 in September 2013 from the Joint Force Head Quarters; the United Kingdom’s only very high readiness contingent Joint Force operational HQ. Where, as the key Maritime representative, he was a staff officer in the J3 division and also regional lead for the Middle East. His responsibilities included advising British Embassies, throughout the Middle East, on crisis and contingent planning.

On graduation from Britannia Royal Naval College he served in a variety of ships which included a period within the Hong Kong Patrol Squadron and an operational deployment (1987/88) to the Middle East escorting tankers during the Iran/Iraq war and duties as the MCM protection unit off Bahrain. Volunteering for Mine Warfare, Diving and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training in 1991 he subsequently served on Hunt class mine hunters and also as Officer in Charge of the Plymouth Clearance Diving Unit when the unit was awarded a CINCFLEET commendation for its contribution to EOD operations and underwater engineering support to the Fleet.

On completion of the Principal Warfare Officers Course in 1999, where he specialised in Communications and Electronic Warfare, he was appointed to HMS CORNWALL. This was a professionally rewarding time, which included 3 major deployments; one of which was a combined UK/FR global deployment.

Staff appointments have included: MCM Capability Staff Officer at Fleet Headquarters during the initial phase of OP TELIC; MA to Director Special Forces (2005); and as a MoD desk officer in the Directorate of Counter Terrorism and United Kingdom Operations where he gained a unique insight into Central Government Crisis and Consequence management during terrorist and other disruptive challenges. On promotion to Commander he deployed as a strategic planner as part of the Senior British Military Advisor’s team to the US Central Commander, based in Tampa Florida, and was responsible for Lebanon Counter Terrorism planning and Counter Piracy. On return from the US he returned to the MoD as the MCM Capability manager within the Directorate of Above Water Capability.

Captain Bence has commanded the First Mine Countermeasures Squadron and was one of only two dedicated MCM Battle Staff Commanders spending much of his time in the Middle East as COMUKMCMFOR (2010/11). Earlier Command appointments included the Mine Hunters HMS INVERNESS, HMS SHOREHAM and the Plymouth Clearance Diving Unit. Operational experience includes OP KIPION/TELIC MCM, OP ARMILLA, OP BOLTON, OP VERITAS, Counter Narcotic operations and deployments with NATO MCM forces; including live MCM operations in the Baltic.

Graduating from the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2006 he has an MA in Defence Studies (Kings College London) and a MSC in Maritime Operations (Kingston University).
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