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Mark Heward Announced as Director of MITAGS

Posted on December 13, 2022

The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) announces with great pleasure that Mark Heward has joined our team as Director of MITAGS.

Mark came aboard with MITAGS in October 2022, after retiring from a 22-year active service career in the Royal Navy.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Heward aboard as the Director of MITAGS.  Mark’s underway time, leadership, management and training experience together with being fully STCW qualified and his continuing education experience are a rare combination,” said Eric Friend, MITAGS Executive Director.  “Mark’s wide range of experience and his interpersonal skills will benefit our entire organization and the MITAGS stakeholders as we continue to move forward and grow.”

Mark joined the Royal Navy in 2001, where he undertook Fleet Time on HM Ships COVENTRY, SOMERSET and GRIMSBY and achieved his Junior Warfare Officer Course and STCW II/1 in July 2003.

Mark has extensive maritime security (MarSy) and force protection (FP) experience. He served as Gunnery Officer onboard the CATTISTOCK from 2003 to 2005, contributing to UK Fishery Protection operations and deploying to the Baltic to conduct live operational mine hunting, with destruction of 14 confirmed munitions. Joining the KENT in 2006, Mark completed a busy Operation TELIC (Iraqi Freedom) deployment providing force protection to Iraqi national oil infrastructure. In 2010, Mark was selected for Command, serving onboard the DASHER, where he was tasked to deliver Military Aid to Civil Powers (MACP) during force protection operations for High Value Units on the River Clyde. He worked alongside Strathclyde and MOD Police forces as well as 43 CDO Royal Marines, culminating in assuming Command of the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron in 2012.

Promoted in 2013, Mark completed his Principal Warfare Officer training and served on HM Ships WESTMINSTER and SOMERSET as Operations Officer, where he participated in Op BLOWBACK’s interception of 5 tons of narcotics in UK Waters. Mark also deployed on Op COUGAR, providing maritime force protection to Her Majesty the Queen during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Malta (2015).

During his time with the Royal Navy, Mark also served as a Navigating Officer. Mark completed Preliminary and then Fleet Navigating Officer courses in 2007, joining IRON DUKE through successive Atlantic Patrol Task (North) deployments in 2008 and 2009, including a short and unexpected APT (South) tour of the Falkland Islands. Working alongside the USCG, the IRON DUKE achieved numerous counter narcotic operations including a single seizure of 5.5 tons of cocaine.

Mark had the honor during this time to serve and train His Royal Highness Prince William while conducting tasking during disaster relief operations to support the Turks and Caicos Islands following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Teaching Preliminary Navigating Officer course as lead instructor in 2010, Mark successfully passed Specialist Navigating Officers training (SPECN) in 2012 and was awarded the Captain Farmer Memorial prize. He subsequently served as Staff Warfare Officer (Navigation) 3 to the Fleet Operational Sea Training organization prior to navigating HMS OCEAN in 2016-2018.

Qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer and Specialist Navigator (PWO(N)), Mark served on HMS OCEAN as Navigating Officer in 2016, deploying to the Persian Gulf in support of CTF50 operations, then in 2017 to the Caribbean to deliver Humanitarian Disaster Relief Operations (Op RUMAN), and finally to the Mediterranean on HMS OCEAN as the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Flagship. This assignment culminated in Mark having the honor to serve as Officer of the Guard to Her Majesty the Queen during HMS OCEAN’s decommissioning ceremony in 2018.

Mark concluded his time in the Royal Navy commanding Mine Counter Measures Squadron 2 Crew 1, serving on HMS HURWORTH in June 2018 to undertake a training cycle, before deploying to the KIPION JOA (Persian Gulf) on HMS LEDBURY in January-July 2019. He then commanded HM Ships CHIDDINGFOLD and CATTISTOCK while conducting United Kingdom-based operations.

Mark brings his experience both as a commanding officer and as a teacher to the role of Director of MITAGS. After coming to the United States, Mark served at the United States Naval Academy as the Operations Officer from July 2020 until August 2022, teaching Advanced Navigation and commanding the US Navy Yard Patrol Craft at sea as Officer in Tactical Command, where he was responsible for up to 160 midshipmen and staff.

Mark has a Masters in IT and Management (Distinction) as well as Level 7 Post Graduate Diplomas in Strategic Management and Leadership (Chartered Management Institute), Strategic Leadership and Executive Management (Institute of Leadership and Management) and Applied Navigation (Plymouth University).

Mark’s interests include supporting England and Harlequins RFC, reading and his family.

Media Contact:
Elisabeth Hoover, Executive Administrator


MITAGS is a nonprofit, vocational training center for individuals seeking to enter the maritime profession and for professional mariners seeking to advance their careers. With campuses in Baltimore and Seattle, it is the leader in maritime training, pilot programs, ship simulation and operational research, providing customized solutions for both individual companies and mariners, and members of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. To learn more, visit our website at

MITAGS-MCC’s Nondiscrimination Policy can be viewed in its entirety at  and


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