2 NAVY NEWS, AUGUST 2009
HMS St Albans
848 NAS HMS Pursuer
Vikings/845 NAS/846 NAS/
RFA Largs Bay 854 NAS/Fleet FS(Air)
HMS Iron Duke HMS Talent
RFA Fort George
Cornwall/Taurus task group
HMS Atherstone HMS Echo
HMS Manchester HMS Grimsby
RFA Wave Knight
RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay
RFA Gold Rover
HMS Tyne YEOVIL
Plus one ballistic missile submarine on patrol somewhere beneath the Seven Seas
Fleet Fleet FocusFocus
THERE seems to be a pirate theme to proceedings this
month (we’d like to say we planned it but we’re not that
organised...) with the Fleet and senior staffs joining Allied
navies in strangling illegal activities on the high seas.
From the RN standpoint, the fight is presently led by HMS
Cornwall (see opposite), by HMS Cumberland (more about her
later), by HMS Portland (see pages 24-25, although her tour of
duty’s now done) and the staff of Rear Admiral Peter Hudson at
Northwood (see pages 22-23) co-ordinating the EU’s Operation
Atalanta. Although just passing through ‘pirate alley’ on her way
home with the Taurus task group, HMS Somerset conducted a
number of important intelligence-gathering sorties with her Lynx
(see page 10).
Portland has relinquished anti-pirate/drug duties and returned
home to Devonport, but not before loosing two salvoes of
Seawolves at targets off Gib (see page 26).
Before we get too wound up by brigands, it’s important not
to take our eye off the terrorist ‘ball’. HMS Cumberland hasn’t,
seizing more than £40m of cannabis in the Indian Ocean (see
Proof that drugs are a global problem is provided by HMS Iron
Duke which has taken up station in the Caribbean alongside
RFA Fort George (see right) to support the international effort
to stop narcotics smuggling in the region.
Also in the Americas, HMS Manchester has been taking part
in a major Chilean-led exercise (see page 20).
Her replacement in the South Atlantic, HMS Gloucester, has
just arrived in theatre having stopped off in Rio and the Cape
Verde Islands on the way down (see page 6).
The Fighting G joined HMS Clyde on patrol around the
Falklands in the depths of the austral winter (see page 7).
Go ahead, make Duck’s day...
On the opposite side of the great ocean, HMS Enterprise has
begun her two-year surveying deployment with visits to West
The frigate is wearing two ‘hats’ while in the Iron Duke should feature quite prominently
Africa (see page 4).
DO YOU feel lucky, punk?
Caribbean, one for anti-drugs patrols, the other in the four one-hour programmes as the fi lm
NATO duties are over for minehunter HMS Brocklesby, whose
Well, probably not if you had the guns of
for disaster relief. crew spent several days aboard the Type 23.
deployment has rather mirrored frigate HMS St Albans’ in the
L/Cpl Rudi Taylor and Mne David Chatterton
latter stages. Both are now home in Portsmouth (see page 5).
trained on you.
Iron Duke proved adept at both on her last They captured footage of preparations for
Also back in the UK, this time from east of Suez, is submarine
The two Royal Marines (pictured here by
visit to the region in the summer and autumn of departure from Portsmouth, the emotional
HMS Talent which has been gathering intelligence, working with
LA(Phot) Stu Hill) comprise the Counter-
2009, seizing millions of pounds of cocaine and separation from loved ones, watched the 815
the surface fleet and, er, riding camels (see page 6).
Narcotics Sniper team aboard HMS Iron
helping stricken communities in the aftermath NAS Lynx fl ight embark, watched a Seawolf
Right now is the busiest time for the P2000/URNU fleet with
Duke, which has just begun its patrol of the
of tropical storms. shoot and a replenishment at sea with RFA
the boats deploying all over northern Europe with their mixed
Caribbean working with local law enforcement
It’s a relatively short passage from Key Orangeleaf, among other manoeuvres.
RN/university student crews, so it’s apt that one, HMS Exploit,
West to the Cayman Islands, the fi rst port “They needed everything to be perfect –
is our ship of the month (see page 12).
The commandos are skilled in the use of the
of call in the Caribbean, where after another sometimes they took over 15 takes of a single
Deeds in Afghanistan by naval medics (see page 21), the
AW50 .50 rifl e – which can be used to disable
offi cial reception and a run ashore, there was a shot – but it was great to have them on board,”
Commando Helicopter Force (see page 8) and 3 Commando
drug traffi ckers’ ‘go fast’ speedboats with
particularly pertinent disaster relief exercise and said PO ‘Boogie’ Knight, one of the Iron Ducks
Brigade (see page 8) have been recognised with parades and
pinpoint accuracy – and the M3M .50 machine a maritime security exercise (the wonderfully-
charged with making Dan and his team feel at
receptions in the capital, Exeter, Portsmouth and Plymouth.
gun. titled Viking Thistle 2) with the local marine home aboard the frigate.
The helicopters of the CHF are heavily in demand in Afghanistan
As for the ship, she now carries a US Coast police. The film crew left the ship before her dash
(see page 5) so its training squadron, 848 NAS, headed to Bavaria
Guard Law Enforcement Detachment who Last year Iron Duke arrived off the tiny island across the Atlantic – a dash which permitted
to acclimatise to operations in a mountainous environment (see
embarked in Key West, the southernmost point of Cayman Brac – one of the smaller outposts only a flying visit (literally) to Bermuda.
in the USA. of the Cayman Islands – in the aftermath The islands are home to David and Sue
Afghanistan is now a theatre the air and ground crew of the
As well as being one-time home to Ernest of Hurricane Gustav. Thankfully, a survey Garland – aunt and uncle to Iron Duke’s
Naval Strike Wing need not worry about any more. Tornados
Hemingway, Key West is also the site of a rather conducted by the ship’s Lynx determined that LET(ME) Daniel Keenan.
have replaced the Harrier, bringing the curtain down on the jump
large naval base and the Joint Inter-Agency Task damage from the storm was not as bad as fi rst Operational commitments 12 months ago
jets’ mission (see page 4)...
Force (South) which oversees the international feared. prevented a family reunion as the frigate’s visit
...which has allowed them to practise what they’re meant to
effort to stop drug smuggling in the region. Hurricanes are a long way from Snow – not was cancelled.
do: operate from a carrier at sea. RAF IV Sqn has been exercising
The Iron Ducks received briefi ngs from the the cold white flaky stuff, but historian and TV Twelve months on, CO Cdr Andrew Stacey
with HMS Illustrious in the North Sea to re-learn that art (see
counter-drugs staff, installed some specialist presenter Dan Snow, who joined the frigate at allowed the junior rate to accompany him
equipment and collected that coast guard team the outset of her deployment. ashore for an all-too-brief reunion.
And finally... Raise a glass to Henry Allingham, the Royal
during their weekend in Key West. Dan’s been getting around quite a bit recently Not only did the meeting go down well with
Navy’s last living link with the Grand Fleet, with Jutland and with
The ship also hosted an offi cial reception, fi lming a forthcoming documentary on how the the young sailor, but also with his shipmates;
the Royal Naval Air Service. We shall not see his like again (see
played locals at rugby (won 10-3) and soccer RN has shaped Britain through the centuries the Garlands provided an ample supply of
page 21 and comment, page 28).
(aka football – lost) and joined in July 4 (he’s also been aboard HMS Brocklesby – see home-made cakes and British newspapers for
celebrations. page 5). Daniel to take back.
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