Captain Chris O'Flaherty
Joining the Royal Navy in 1987, Chris O’Flaherty’s career has seen him gain diplomatic and operational land and maritime experience around the globe.
His deep specialist area, and the focus of his current research, is naval minewarfare, where his 26 years’ experience of naval clearance diving gives him a unique insight into this little understood sphere of maritime operations and foreign policy. His first operational assignment was navigating the wooden Ton Class minesweeper HMS SOBERTON, beginning a career punctuated by service in some of the oldest and then newest warships the Royal Navy possessed ranging from minehunters to aircraft carriers. Most recently he has served in Islamabad with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force coordinating cross border cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, he went on to Command the Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Squadron delivering minewarfare search and underwater bomb disposal in support of UK & expeditionary maritime forces, and he has just completed two years in Bahrain as the Royal Navy’s Captain Mine Countermeasures, concurrently working for the United States Navy’s FIFTH Fleet as Deputy Commander of their Naval Minewarfare Task Force.
Having previously been awarded Master’s Degrees in Maritime Operations and in Defence Studies, Captain O’Flaherty was elected to the Hudson Fellowship in order to research the utility of naval mines as instruments of foreign policy.