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NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2010 Air miles and milestones


Britain’s no.1 jet is quite loud, as sailors from HMS Diamond discovered.


YOU only get an ‘oo’ with Typhoon. Not that you’d actually hear the sighs and gasps because


A six-strong team from the Type 45 destroyer – due to make her maiden appearance in Portsmouth on September 22 – decamped from the Clyde, where Diamond’s in the very fi nal stages of fi tting out, to RAF Coningsby for a visit to 3(F) Squadron, their affi liated Royal Air Force unit. In a few months’ time, the Diamonds and the Typhoons will be working hand-in-hand as Britain’s fi rst line of defence against aerial attack. So time to fi nd out how the Crabs do it. After initial briefi ngs about the Typhoon, members of the


ship’s company were able to witness several jets begin their practice dogfi ghts in the skies of Lincolnshire – just as their forebears did 70 years earlier against the Luftwaffe, a memory reinforced by the sight of the historic aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight stationed at Coningsby. While the destroyer’s CO Cdr Ian Clarke was treated to


an aerial view of a task group protection exercise courtesy of a two-seat Typhoon (described as “being thrown around for three hours and pulling 7G”), his shipmates enjoyed a rather less exerting experience on the ground. The sailors were given the chance to take on their 3(F) Sqn


affi liates in Coningsby’s hi-tech simulators – they’re exact replicas of the cockpit and controls in a Typhoon. And this fl ying state-of-the-art jets lark must be a piece of cake because LLogs(SC) Craig Dixon downed one of the RAF’s ‘top guns’.


● Still smiling after being thrown around for three hours... Diamond’s CO Cdr Ian Clarke (right) with Flt Lt ‘Rosie’ Lee, who took him up in a Typhoon


about getting all the kit working. A warship’s more than the sum of its parts. It’s given a soul by the men and women aboard, through their actions and deeds.


The visit ended with an exchange of crests between the respective commanding offi cers and, although the day was fun, Cdr Clarke said the experience of working with the RAF had underlined the fact that the Type 45s and Typhoons “must work closely alongside each other to exploit the awesome and complementary air defence capabilities that we each possess”. Meanwhile, in Portsmouth, you may have noticed quite a few extra Diamonds around.


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celebrations; AB(Sea)s Alicia Goodrun and Ben Campbell took Scottish TV presenter Lorraine Kelly for a whizz down the Clyde in Diamond’s sea boat to launch events north of the border. Other journeys have been rather longer, like a 300-mile round trip to Aberdeen (one of the ship’s two affi liated cities, the other being Coventry). The ship’s company marched through the Granite City


One hundred to be precise – all junior rates and all inducted to their new ship on the same day – as the destroyer was brought up to a full complement of ship’s company. The sailors received their replacement (or new for those joining their fi rst ship) tallies personally from Cdr Clarke. “Today is a milestone in Diamond’s life – the fi rst day with a complete ship’s company,” he told the assembled sailors before outlining the challenges they would face in the coming 18 months “to prepare Diamond to undertake a full range of operations, anywhere in the world, at short notice”. With the warship herself on the Clyde, the new arrivals’ initial training and induction will take place in the fi rst two Type 45s, Daring and Dauntless, already in Portsmouth. And what of HMS Diamond herself? Well, we’re glad you asked. The initial ship’s company have been getting into the swing of breathing life into Diamond – and we’re not just talking


during its Armed Forces Day parade with Cdr Clarke taking the salute, standing outside Town House next to Lord Provost Peter Stephen and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. The CO then presented a cheque for £1,600 to one of the ship’s chosen good causes, the Friends of Anchor which supports cancer research and cancer sufferers in north-east Scotland. That came courtesy of a sponsored relay event which saw


So the Diamonds took an active role in Armed Forces Day


sailors, led by the Executive Offi cer Lt Cdr ‘Pincher’ Martin, and clubz LPT Danny Fallon, complete a run from the ship in Glasgow to Aberdeen then straight on to bicycles to Coventry…


… which is where the rest of the ship’s company could be found on Armed Forces Day, taking part in the Midlands’ cities events. And it was there that the remaining £1,600 raised by those


sporting exertions were presented to the neo-natal unit at the city’s hospital by Cdr Paddy Munns, Diamond’s marine engineer offi cer.


● AB(WS) Sharlotte Pape, ET(WE) Gemma Hall, ET(ME) Andrew Taylor, AB(CIS) Michael Sandbrook and Logs(SC) David Scotland show off their Diamond cap tallies (in front of HMS Dauntless)


Picture: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, RN Photographer of the Year


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