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24 NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009
Business as usua
THE FOCUS of the world’s
are quite happy to get on with their There are challenges on board th
media may have swung
lives and livelihoods without the the mother ship as well – the
temperature can rise well above
dramatically from events in
threat of conflict or piracy. o
Kent, like her predecessors on 40°C and sandstorms are a risk. m
Iraq to the bloody conflict the beat, goes some way towards And while a spell alongside allows th
in Afghanistan in recent
achieving her aims by interacting a thorough clean of the upper deck, N
months, but it is pretty
with local sea-going traffic, including ongoing maintenance at sea is vital if
every nook and cranny – and sensor,
much business as usual
fishing dhows, listening to their A
concerns and explaining how the and weapons system – is to be kept
a
for the Royal Navy in the Royal Navy works with host nations clear of dust and sand.
h
Middle East.
to provide a safer environment for Kent’s youngest sailor, AB Lisa-
Among the warships working
everyone. Marie Waller, said: “This is my first
C
in the Arabian Gulf are a clutch
The value of training comes to the deployment and I can’t believe how
li
much I have seen and learnt since
of minehunters, a couple of
fore on tasks like this.
Sending teams of sailors away in we sailed.
landing ships, a frigate and a
re
small sea boats certainly focuses the “I’m really enjoying my time on
fast tanker, while a fixture in the
o
mind of her Commanding Officer, board and the opportunity to see
region has returned home after Cdr Simon Hopper. parts of the world I never would have
to
her long deployment. “HMS Kent has trained hard to
expected to visit.”
b
Type 23 frigate HMS Kent is ensure that we can do this well,
Meanwhile, RN minehunters
g
supporting Combined Maritime but ultimately, I have to have the
are working hard out of Bahrain;
Forces by patrolling the region in a bid confidence that my teams on board
the ships put in a long deployment
h
to promote stability and prosperity – Kent and those in the boats have the
while the crews swap around in what
a
it is not only international shipping skills and training to cope with the
appears, to the untutored eye (that
which benefits from safe sea lanes, unexpected as well as the routine,”
includes the News Editor – Ed), to be
w
but local traders and fishermen, who he said.
a giddy round of numbers.
Thus we have seen Crew 8 bid
A
Diligence comes home
farewell to HMS Atherstone and
w
the Gulf, while Crew 6 pick up the
traces.
a
And while Crew 8 ask Crew 6
y
to look after ‘their’ ship till they
is
after long deployment
are reunited in January, Crew 7 are
a
asking the same of Crew 5 over on
HMS Chiddingfold.
A similar scenario can also be seen
on board Sandown-class sisters HMS
SUPPORT vessel RFA Diligence has returned Northern Arabian Gulf.
Grimsby and HMS Pembroke.
to the UK after an 18-month deployment which Among the highlights for the ship’s company
(If you are interested, Crew 8
saw her visit 11 countries in three continents during her 55,000-mile deployment were
resurfaces in HMS Ledbury this
and steam the equivalent of more than twice cultural port visits to the island of Mahé in
month, while Crew 1 has just left
round the world. the Seychelles, Dubai in the UAE, Goa in
HMS Grimsby to transfer to HMS
The forward support ship originally deployed India and Odessa in the Ukraine.
Walney. You are probably sorry you
as part of the Royal Navy’s Orion 08 task group, She also spent three weeks on anti-piracy
asked now.)
and detached to provide support for two Hunt- patrols in the Gulf of Aden, working for the
In terms of tasks, minehunters
class mine countermeasures vessels bound for coalition Combined Task Force to secure sea
have been probing sea beds for
the Gulf. lanes in the Somali Basin and off the Horn
suspicious objects (it is, after all,
And apart from the occasional ‘excursion of Africa.
what they do) but their sailors have
operation’, the former North Sea oil rig support
had the chance to try something
vessel remained in the Gulf.
● Clockwise from top right: RFA Lyme different in the Middle East, such as
Among her roles were the support of RN
Bay, HMS Atherstone and HMS Grimsby skiing – in Ski Dubai’s icy dome – as
ships, submarines and divers, carrying out
conduct Offi cer of the Watch manoeuvres; well as just enjoying a swimming
coalition maritime security operations and
Lyme Bay and Grimsby during a training pool with a cool drink to hand.
acting as mother ship for MCMVs in the
exercise; HMS Atherstone under way in That is not to say they have not
Arabian Gulf, Northern Arabian Sea and Gulf
the Gulf; Atherstone (pictured), Pembroke been called on to show their mettle.
of Aden.
and Grimsby carry out Offi cer of the HMS Pembroke, for example, was
She participated in multinational maritime
Watch manoeuvres on their way to carry carrying out routine tasks when she
exercises in waters off the United Arab Emirates,
out routine tasks off Bahrain; Lt Cdr Chris received a distress call from the mv
Pakistan and Bahrain, and she helped out
the US Navy by providing a mobile heavy-lift
Nelson (left) and his younger brother PO Salem 1 some 20 miles off Qatar.
crane facility to the Iraqi oil platforms in the
Philip Nelson on the jetty at Bahrain in The Sandown was first on the
front of their ship, HMS Atherstone; HMS
scene, followed shortly after by RFA
Kent’s sea boat approaches a dhow at
Lyme Bay, and the British ships
sea during maritime security patrols;
learned that the stricken vessel had
(right) HMS Kent’s sea boat returns to the
lost all propulsion and power.
frigate after checking a vessel; (below)
Although the sea was somewhat
mv Salem 1 wallows in rough seas after
rough, it was safe enough for the
losing power and propulsion – HMS
crew to remain on the Salem
Pembroke stood by to ensure her safety;
overnight, while Pembroke stood
(left) the sweep deck crew launch the
guard and alerted the UK Maritime
Sea Fox mine disposal vehicle from HMS
Component Command (UKMCC)
Atherstone
staff in Bahrain, who started to hunt
down the Salem’s owners and alert
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