Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the British Royal Navy, (the others being HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport). Portsmouth Naval Base is part of the city of Portsmouth; it is located on the eastern shore of Portsmouth Harbour, north of the Solent and the Isle of Wight.
The base is home to the oldest dry dock in the world, as well as being the headquarters for two thirds of the Royal Navy's surface fleet. The base is also home to a number of commercial shore activities, including shipbuilding and ship repair (operated by BAE Systems); naval logistics, accommodation and messing; and personnel support functions (e.g. medical and dental; education; pastoral and welfare) provided by Defence Equipment and Support.
The base is the oldest in the Royal Navy and it has been an important part of the Senior Service's history and the defence of the British Isles for centuries. At one time it was the largest industrial site in the world. The Naval Base is also home to the "Portsmouth Historic Dockyard", which allows members of the public to visit important maritime attractions such as the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior.
The base commander since October 2011 is Commodore Tony Radakin.
The harbour is under the control of the Queen's Harbour Master, currently Commander Nigel Hare, who is the regulatory authority of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth, an area of approximately 50 square miles (130 km2) that encompasses Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent. Shipping movements are handled by a team of admiralty pilots headed by the Chief Admiralty Pilot, Anthony Bannister.
Portsmouth naval base is home to two thirds of the Royal Navy's surface ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. It employs up to 17,200 people. In addition, Portsmouth is building part of, and will be the home port of the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers ordered in 2008, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, they will require that the harbour is dredged. This project has secured the base's future for the next forty years and will revitalise shipbuilding in the city.